Stephen Glass was once a rising star of the Washington journalism scene. His writing, according to a 1998 exposé by Vanity Fair magazine, fused “the street poetry of Kerouac and psychological acuity of Freud.” He was hot stuff. But then, one day, his brilliant and short-lived career came to a sudden and dramatic end.
Glass, who wrote mainly for The New Republic – a New York and Washington-based magazine with hundred-year-old roots in the Progressive Movement – was raised in the well-to-do Chicago suburb of Highland Park. As a college student, he showed a keen interest in journalism. In fact, he was the executive editor of the University of Pennsylvania’s student newspaper – a role he relished.
And in 1995, one year after his graduation, he landed an internship with The New Republic and worked as an assistant to the editor, Andrew Sullivan. But at that stage in his career, Glass had little flair for writing. Many of his ambitious young colleagues outshone him. He did have something going for him though. By all accounts, he was very personable.