posted March 26, 2002

Ben Stein to Speak on April 10

Ben Stein, whose varied credits include presidential speech writer, lawyer, columnist, novelist, actor and game show host, will speak through the Hope College Student Speaker Series on Wednesday, April 10, at 7 p.m. in Dimnent Memorial Chapel.

The public is invited. Admission is free.

In 1973 and 1974, Stein was a speech writer and lawyer for Richard Nixon at the White House and then for Gerald Ford.

He has been a columnist and editorial writer for "The Wall Street Journal," a syndicated columnist for "The Lost Angeles Herald Examiner" and King Features Syndicate, and a frequent contributor to "Barron," where his articles about the ethics of management buyouts and issues of fraud in the Milken Drexel junk bond scheme drew major national attention. He has been a regular columnist for "Los Angeles Magazine," "New York Magazine" and "E! Online," and has written a lengthy diary for 10 years for "The American Spectator."

Stein has written seven novels, largely about life in Los Angeles. His nine non-fiction books primarily concern finance, ethical and social issues in finance, and the political and social content of mass culture, although his most recent is about life with his 11-year-old son. His titles include "A License to Steal: The Untold Story of Michael Milken and the Conspiracy to Bilk the Nation," "The View from Sunset Boulevard: America as Brought to You by the People Who Make Television," "Hollywood Days, Hollywood Nights: The Diary of a Mad Screenwriter," "DREEMZ," "Financial Passages," "Ludes" and "Tommy & Me: The Making of a Dad."

He is also a well-known actor in movies, television and commercials. His many film roles include the boring teacher in "Ferris Bueller's Day Off"; his many television appearances include "The Wonder Years" and "Seinfeld"; he has voiced animated programs including "Duckman" and "Rugrats." Starting in July of 1997, he has been the host of the Comedy Central quiz show "Win Ben Stein's Money," and he is also the host of his own talk show, "Turn Ben Stein On." He is at work on a new show for Comedy Central.

Stein, 57, is the son of the economist and writer Herbert Stein, and grew up in Silver Spring, Md. He graduated from Columbia University in 1966 with honors in economics, and graduated from Yale Law School in 1970 as valedictorian of his class, elected by his classmates. He helped to found the "Journal of Law and Social Policy" while at Yale.

He has worked as a poverty lawyer in New Haven and Washington, D.C., and a trial lawyer in the field of trade regulation at the Federal Trade Commission in Washington, D.C.

Stein was a university adjunct at American University in Washington, D.C., where he taught about the political and social content of mass culture. He taught the same subject at the University of California at Santa Cruz, as well as about political and civil rights under the U.S. Constitution. At Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif., he has taught about libel law and about securities law and ethical issues since 1986.

Stein's visit is being sponsored by the college's Student Congress, and supported through other Hope student organizations and departments including the Hope Democrats, the Hope Republicans, the President's Office and the Provost's Office.

The Student Speaker Series debuted with author Alex Haley on Jan. 30, 1992. Others featured through the years have included actor Danny Glover and actor/director Felix Justice; comedian and talk show host Bertice Berry; author James Malinchak; former principal Joe Clark, inspiration for the film "Lean on Me"; attorney Robert F. Kennedy Jr. on environmental issues; and writer Maya Angelou.