Ira Glass, Radio Producer and Host, This American Life

Mondavi Distinguished Speakers Series

Peter J. Shields Lobby
March 1 - Spring Quarter 2013

Ira Glass is the host and creator of the public radio program This American Life. The show premiered on Chicago's public radio station WBEZ in 1995 and is now heard on more than 500 public radio stations each week by over 1.7 million listeners. Most weeks, the podcast of the program is the most popular podcast in America. The show also airs each week on the CBC in Canada and on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's radio network.

Glass began his career as an intern at National Public Radio's network headquarters in Washington, DC in 1978, when he was 19 years old. Over the years, he worked on nearly every NPR network news program and held virtually every production job in NPR's Washington headquarters. He has been a tape cutter, newscast writer, desk assistant, editor, and producer. He has filled in as host of Talk of the Nation and Weekend All Things Considered.

Under Glass's editorial direction, This American Life has won the highest honors for broadcasting and journalistic excellence, including several Peabody and DuPont-Columbia awards. A television adaptation of This American Life ran on the Showtime network for two seasons, in 2007 and 2008, winning three Emmy awards, including Outstanding Nonfiction Series. The show has put out its own comic book, three greatest hits compilations, DVDs of live shows and other events, a "radio decoder" toy, temporary tattoos and a paint-by-numbers set. Half a dozen stories are in development to become feature films. In 2012 he produced and co-wrote, with Mike Birbiglia, a movie called Sleepwalk with Me.

Ira Glass will appear in the Mondavi's Distinguished Speakers Series, Saturday, May 18, 2013

Works written, edited or including Ira Glass in the Library's collections include:

  • Abel, Jessica and Ira Glass. Radio: An Illustrated Guide. Chicago: WBEZ Alliance Inc., 1999.
    Shields Library HE8696 A24 1999
  • Cokie Roberts ... et al. This is NPR. San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 2010.
    Shields Library HE8697.95 U6 T45 2010
  • Glass, Ira, Tim Samuelson, and Chris Ware. Lost Buildings: An On-Stage Radio & Picture Collaboration Between Ira Glass and Chris Ware, Presented Here in an Approximated Digital Video Disc Format, with Accompanying Illustrations, Apologies, and Appreciations of the Buildings by Tim Samuelson, Cultural Historian of the City of Chicago, as Well as Subject of the Presentation Itself, Produced at WBEZ Chicago for Public Radio International. [Chicago: s.n.,] 2004.
    Shields Library NA735 C4 L682 2004
  • Moggridge, Bill. Designing Media. Cambridge: MIT Press, 2010.
    Shields Library QA76.575 M645 2010
  • Ross, Richard, Ira Glass and Bart Lubrow. Juvenile in Justice. [Santa Barbara]: Richard Ross, 2012.
    Shields Library HV9104 R66 2012
  • Staples, Tamara, Ira Glass and Christa Velbel. The Fairest Fowl: Portraits of Championship Chickens. San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 2001.
    Shields Library SF487.7 S73 2001
  • The New Kings of Nonfiction. Edited and introduced by Ira Glass. New York: Riverhead Books, 2007.
    Shields Library PS659.2 N49 2007