Ira Glasser was trained as a mathematician and taught mathematics at City University in New York and Sarah Lawrence College, before becoming associate editor and then editor of Current, a monthly magazine of public affairs. In 1967 he was appointed Associate Director of the New York Civil Liberties Union and became Executive Director in 1970. In 1978, he was chosen to be the Executive Director of the American Civil Liberties Union, in which capacity he served until his retirement in 2001.

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