Childhood & Early Life
Stephen Randall Glass was born on September 15, 1972, to Jeffrey Glass and Michele Glass. His father was a gastroenterologist and his mother was nurse. He has a younger brother named Michael.
He went to ‘Highland Park High School’ and faced massive pressure from his parents to do well in school. He is said to have often been compared to his over-achieving brother. At school, he enjoyed many extracurricular activities, including theatre.
In 1990, he was accepted into the pre-medical programme at ‘University of Pennsylvania’ as a special scholar. But he reportedly couldn’t keep his grades up and ultimately majored in anthropology.
He got a taste for journalism when he became the executive editor of the student newspaper ‘The Daily Pennsylvanian’ in 1993.
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After graduation, in 1994, he found work at the ‘Heritage Foundation’s Policy Review.’
In 1995, he joined ‘The New Republic’ magazine as an editorial assistant. Though his role primarily consisted of administrative tasks, his charming personality ensured that he got all the gossip in the office. This endearing personality lent an air of credibility to his reporting too.
By 1996, he had managed to get into the good books of the top bosses at the publication, who suggested the idea for his first article, ‘Taxis and the Meaning of Work’. Soon, he was writing features for other magazines like ‘George’, ‘Rolling Stone’, ‘Policy Review’, etc. as well.
By the age 23, he was already a sought-after reporter, but his articles invited much flak from staff at ‘The New Republic’ as well as the subjects of his articles. But he enjoyed the support of the then-editor, Michael Kelly.
In 1996, he wrote a scathing article ‘Hazardous to Your Mental Health’ targeting the ‘Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI)’. CSPI responded with a press release accusing the magazine of distorting facts and printing inaccuracies.
In early 1997, he wrote hostile articles like ‘Don't You D.A.R.E.’, ‘Spring Breakdown’, ‘Peddling Poppy’, where he was accused of fabricating information. But the magazine continued to vehemently defend him. He also wrote ‘The College Rankings Scam’ for ‘Rolling Stone’ in October, which was said to be lacking concrete facts.
In 1998, he wrote ‘Hack Heaven’ about a teenage computer hacker blackmailing ‘Jukt Micronics’ for thousands of dollars. But a ‘Forbes’ reporter, Adam Penenberg, investigated and exposed Glass’ intricate network of lies and false information.
In the aftermath of the exposé, ‘The New Republic’ conducted their own investigations and revealed that about 27 of the 41 articles written by Glass were fabricated. ‘George’, Harper’s’, ‘Policy Review’ and ‘Rolling Stone’ came to similar conclusions too.
After being disgraced as a journalist, he attended ‘Georgetown University Law Center’ and earned a ‘Juris Doctor’ degree.
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In 2000, he was refused a bar certification due to ethical reasons even though he had passed the New York State bar examination.
In 2003, he wrote an article for ‘Rolling Stone’ about Canadian marijuana issues. The film ‘Shattered Glass’ depicting his scandal released in October that year.
By 2007, he had moved to California and apparently performed with a comedy group ‘Un-Cabaret’ in Los Angeles.
In 2009, he applied to join the bar examination in California, but after years of extensive reviews and petitions, he was once again refused a certification on moral fitness grounds.
In 2015, he repaid $10,000 to ‘Harper’s’ for his false articles that were published in the magazine.
In 2016, he disclosed that he had given back more than $200,000 to ‘The New Republic’ and other publications for his fabricated articles.
He was hired as a paralegal by a California law firm ‘Carpenter, Zuckerman and Rowley’, and now works as ‘Director of Special Projects and Trial Team Coordinator’ helping clients prepare for trial.
Family & Personal Life
Stephen Glass was very coy about his sexuality in college and fuelled speculations that he was gay.
Shortly after the scandal, he began a relationship with his girlfriend, Julie Hilden. During the trial, she mentioned that she had nursed him through a grave illness and that they had decided to put off marriage until same-sex marriage was legal in California.
He was reportedly engaged to Julie, but it is unclear if they got married.
It is believed that his wife passed away in 2018 and he now lives alone in California, USA.