Jeremy Stein (born November 25, 1944) is an American attorney, political
figure, and entertainment personality who in his early career served
as speechwriter for U.S. presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford.
Later he entered the entertainment field and became an Emmy Award-winning
actor, comedian, and game show host.
has frequently written commentaries on economic, political, and
social issues, along with financial advice to individual investors.
Recently, he has become an outspoken critic of Darwinism and advocates
for intelligent design. He is the son of noted economist and writer
Herbert Stein who worked at the White House, under President
Nixon. His sister, Rachel, is also a writer.
was born in Washington, D.C., the son of Mildred (née Fishman),
a homemaker, and Herb Stein, a writer, economist, and presidential
adviser. He was raised Jewish and grew up in the Woodside Forest
neighborhood of Silver Spring, Maryland. Stein graduated from Montgomery
Blair High School in 1961 along with classmate journalist Carl Bernstein;
actress Goldie Hawn (class of 1963) was two years behind. Actor
Sylvester Stallone was a schoolmate at Montgomery Hills Junior High
School. He went on to major in economics at Columbia
University's Columbia College, where he was a member of Alpha Delta
Phi society and the Philolexian Society. After graduating with honors
from Columbia in 1966, Stein went to Yale Law School, from which
he graduated as the class valedictorian in June of 1970. He's stated
that he didn't have the highest grades in his class at Yale, but
was voted valedictorian by the students because he was most popular.
On December 21, 1970, while visiting his father at work, Ben Stein
met Elvis Presley in the White House cafeteria. He allegedly leaked
the story of Presley's meeting with President Nixon, including the
erroneous information that Elvis was wearing a cape, to columnist
Jack Anderson, who published it a year later.
Legal and academic career
Stein speaking at Miami University in 2003He was first a poverty
lawyer in New Haven, Connecticut, and Washington, D.C. before becoming
a trial lawyer for the Federal Trade Commission.
first teaching stint was as an adjunct professor, teaching political
and social content of mass culture at American University in Washington,
D.C., and then at University of California, Santa Cruz. He also
held classes on political and civil rights from the United States
Constitution at UC Santa Cruz. At Pepperdine University in Southern
California, Stein taught libel law and United States securities
law and its ethical aspects. He was a professor of law at Pepperdine
University Law School, from about 1990 to 1997.
addition, Stein is very interested in American Civil War history,
and is a strong supporter of the Civil War Preservation Trust.
frequent writer, Stein has authored books on several topics, including
economics. He writes a regular column in the conservative magazine
The American Spectator. He has also written for numerous publications
including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, New York
Magazine, Penthouse, Los Angeles Magazine and Barron's Magazine,
where his discussion of the Michael Milken Drexel Burnham Lambert
junk bond situation, as well as the ethical dimensions of management
buyouts, attracted heavy US national attention in the 1980s and
1990s. He currently writes a regular column for the Sunday New York
Times Business Section and for Yahoo! Finance online.
began his political career as a speechwriter and lawyer for President
Richard Nixon, and later for President Gerald Ford. On May 3, 1976,
Time magazine speculated on the possibility of Stein having actually
been Deep Throat. Stein responded over the years by not only denying
he was Deep Throat, but by going further and accusing journalist
Bob Woodward of falsifying the famous secret source. In the May
14–21, 1998, edition of the Philadelphia City Paper Stein is quoted
saying, "Oh, I don't think there was a Deep Throat. That was
a fake. I think there were several different sources and some they
just made up". After Mark Felt's identity as Deep Throat
was revealed, Stein stated that Richard Nixon would have prevented
the rise to power of the Khmer Rouge if he had not been forced to
resign. For his actions leading to that resignation, Stein said:
there is such a thing as kharma, if there is such a thing as justice
in this life or the next, Mark Felt has bought himself the worst
future of any man on this earth. And Bob Woodward is right behind
him, with Ben Bradlee bringing up the rear. Out of their smug arrogance
and contempt, they hatched the worst nightmare imaginable: genocide.
have called Stein a "Nixon apologist" due to his fervent
defense of Nixon's legacy. As recently as 2005, in the American
Spectator, Stein said "Nixon was a peacemaker. He was a lying,
conniving, covering-up peacemaker. He was not a lying, conniving
drug addict like JFK, a lying, conniving war-starter like LBJ, a
lying, conniving seducer like Clinton—a lying, conniving peacemaker."
Career in the media
“ I've said to my wife repeatedly, I just want on my gravestone,
'He loved dogs' and 'Bueller, Bueller.' ”
— Stein on the impact of Ferris Bueller's Day Off on his life.
his prominence as a commentator on politics and economics, Stein
is perhaps best known for his career in the entertainment industry,
which began as a Hollywood consultant before he moved into acting.
His film career was launched by his performance as the monotonic
economics teacher in the 1986 movie Ferris Bueller's Day Off. In
one scene, he gives an unscripted economics lecture, relying on
his own economic expertise. He decided to just run with it when
the director told him to try to be as boring as possible in this
scene. The only scripted lines are those in which he calls attendance,
indelibly phrasing the oft-repeated monotone line: "Bueller?...Bueller?"
excelled at playing these similarly bland and unemotional characters
and was subsequently typecast into many roles. He had a recurring
role in the TV series The Wonder Years and played himself in Dave.
also appeared in several television commercials, most notably for
Visine Clear Eyes throughout the 1990s and 2000s ("The difference
is clear...Dry Eyes? Clear Eyes.")—many ads spoof movies of
the day, such as one where Stein is a painter (a play on The Da
Vinci Code). Stein's deadpan, monotone deliveries stand in stark
contrast to the more typical enthusiasm of commercial personalities.
Before this, he appeared for a Godfather's Pizza ad in 1987 and
as a bland science teacher in a 1990 ad for Keebler Sprinkle Cookies.
1997 Stein was given his own game show by Comedy Central titled
Win Ben Stein's Money along with co-host Jimmy Kimmel (replaced
by Nancy Pimental and later by Sal Iacono). True to its name, the
money that contestants won on the show was subtracted from the $5000
Stein earned (in addition to his salary). The show won seven Emmy
awards before ending its run in 2003.
1999, during the height of Win Ben Stein's Money's popularity, Comedy
Central gave Stein another show, a talk show with celebrity guests
entitled Turn Ben Stein On. One of the mainstays of the show was
Stein's dog, Puppy Wuppy, who had free run of the set.
movies and television shows in which Ben Stein has appeared include:
Seinfeld, Full House, Casper Meets Wendy, The Mask and its sequel,
Son of the Mask as well as the TV show, The Mask: The Animated Series,
Earthworm Jim (TV series), Star Search, MacGyver, Richie Rich, Game
Show Moments Gone Bananas, Cavuto on Business, The O'Reilly Factor,
CBS News Sunday Morning, Planes, Trains and Automobiles, Family
Guy, Fairly Odd Parents, Duckman, Married...With Children, Expelled:
No Intelligence Allowed 
addition, among Stein's voice roles include The Pixies on the animated
series The Fairly OddParents, Mr. Purutu on the animated Series
The Emperor's New School, Professor Wisenstein in Bruno the Kid,
and Pip on Animaniacs. Stein also voiced a psychiatrist, again named
after himself, in the USA TV series Duckman; he once appeared in
the sitcom Married with Children as a receptionist in the animal
afterlife. He also made a cameo appearance in the comic book Young
Justice; as Ali Ben Styn. Another cameo appearance was in the Family
Guy episode When You Wish Upon a Weinstein. The episode was the
show's most controversial ever because of its seemingly anti-Semitic
plot, despite Stein and the writer Ricky Blitt, as well as Alex
Borstein, the lead actress and a writer of the show, being Jewish.
In addition, Stein has written for the television industry. He is
noted for his outlines for the TV movie Murder in Mississippi and
for the lengthy ABC miniseries Amerika. He has also contributed
to the creation of the well-liked TV comedy Fernwood 2-Night.
May 14, 2006, during an appearance on the Fox News program Your
World with Neil Cavuto, Stein called for a tax increase of 3.5%
for wealthy Americans, to be earmarked for soldiers and military
initiatives. Indeed, Stein wrote an editorial for The New York Times
critical of those who would rather make money in the world of finance
than fight terrorism.
is noted for his investment advice. Stein recognized that there
was something fishy going on with the accounting at MCI Worldcom
and shorted the stock. He is now a featured writer at Yahoo! Finance.
Stein has a show on VH1 called America's Most Smartest Model,
in which he is the host. The show aims to find the smartest among
fourteen models through a series of challenges. Ben Stein was
a special guest at the VH1 party in Malibu, celebrating the launch
of his new show.
is an occasional political and economics commentator on CNBC's Kudlow
is a pro-life activist and was given a Pro-Life Award in 2003 by
the National Right to Life Educational Trust Fund.
2007, Stein chastised the police and the GOP leadership for their
response to the Larry Craig scandal. Stein said that Craig's sexuality
should be a non-issue: "A party that believes in individual
rights should be rallying to his defense, not making him walk the
often labeled as a political and economic conservative, Stein has
criticized the U.S. tax code for being too lenient on the wealthy.
He noted that Warren Buffett, one of the richest individuals in
the world, enjoys a lower tax rate than his secretaries, and advocated
increasing taxation of the opulent class.
has publicly denounced the theory of evolution, which he and other
intelligent design advocates term "Darwinism", declaring
it to be "a painful, bloody chapter in the history of ideologies",
"the most compelling argument yet for Imperialism", and
the inspiration for the Holocaust. Stein does not say belief
in the theory of evolution alone leads to genocide, but that it
is a necessary component. He co-wrote and stars in the film
Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, a film which attempts to link
evolution to the eugenics movement in Nazi Germany and to the Holocaust,
and portrays advocates of intelligent design as victims of discrimination
by the scientific community, which has widely rejected intelligent
design as pseudoscience. The famous evolutionary biologist and
atheist, Prof. Richard Dawkins has strongly criticised Stein's film
in an open letter on his website.
a Trinity Broadcasting Network interview with Paul Crouch Jr. regarding
Stein's movie, Stein made the following statement about science
When we just saw that man, I think it was Mr. Myers, talking about
how great scientists were, I was thinking to myself the last time
any of my relatives saw scientists telling them what to do they
were telling them to go to the showers to get gassed … that was
horrifying beyond words, and that’s where science — in my opinion,
this is just an opinion — that’s where science leads you.
…Love of God and compassion and empathy leads you to a very glorious
place, and science leads you to killing people.
Good word, good word.
is married to entertainment lawyer Alexandra Denman. They once
divorced and later remarried. He lives with Denman in Malibu, California
and Beverly Hills. Stein also has a summer home in Sandpoint,
book titles to date (7 fiction, 20 nonfiction) include:
Title Publisher ISBN
On the Brink: A Novel (Herbert Stein - Coauthor) Ballantine Books
1979 The View from Sunset Boulevard: America as brought to you by
the people who make television
1985 Financial Passages
1986 Her Only Sin ISBN 0-312-90636-6
1988 Hollywood Days, Hollywood Nights: the Diary of a Mad Screenwriter
1992 A License to Steal: the Untold Story of Michael Milken and
the Conspiracy to Bilk the Nation ISBN 0671742728
2002 How to Ruin Your Life ISBN 1-56170-974-3
2003 How to Ruin Your Love Life ISBN 1-4019-0240-5
2004 How to Ruin Your Financial Life ISBN 1-4019-0241-3
Can America Survive? The Rage of the Left, the Truth, and What to
Do About It ISBN 1-4019-0333-9
2005 Yes, You Can Be a Successful Income Investor: Reaching for
Yield in Today's Market ISBN 1-4019-0319-3
Yes, You Can Still Retire Comfortably: The Baby-Boom Retirement
Crisis and how to Beat It ISBN 1-4019-0318-5
2006 How Successful People Win: Using "Bunkhouse Logic"
to Get What You Want in Life ISBN 1-56170-975-1
2007 The Real Stars: In Today's America, Who Are the True Heroes?
New Beginnings Press ISBN 1-40191-144-7