GLENN BECK, Brief-Bio, HonoraryDoctorate

Early years, Early tragedy:

Glenn Lee Beck, born in Everett, Washington to William and Mary Beck, in Mountlake Terrace, Washington,[7] and later moved to Mount Vernon, Washington[8] where they owned and operated City Bakery.[9] He is descended from German immigrants who came to the United States in the 1800s.[10] Beck was raised as a Roman Catholic and attended private Immaculate Conception Catholic School in Mount Vernon. At age 13, he won a contest that landed him his first broadcast job as a disc-jockey for his hometown radio station, KBRC.[11]

Early tragedy:

In 1977, William Beck filed for divorce against Mary due to her increasing alcoholism.[12] Glenn and his older sister moved with their mother to Sumner, Washington, attending a Jesuit school[13] in Puyallup.

On May 15, 1979, his mother drowned in Puget Sound, just west of Tacoma, Washington.[13] A man who had taken her out in a small boat also drowned. A Tacoma police report stated that Mary Beck "appeared to be a classic drowning victim", but a Coast Guard investigator speculated that she could have intentionally jumped overboard.[13]

Beck has described his mother's death as a suicide in interviews during television and radio broadcasts.[12][13]

After their mother's death, Beck and his older sister moved to their father's home in Bellingham, Washington,[11] where Beck graduated from Sehome High School in June 1982.[14] In the aftermath of his mother's death and subsequent suicide of his stepbrother, Beck has said he used "Dr. Jack Daniel's" to cope.[15]

At 18, Beck relocated to Provo, Utah and worked at radio station KAYK. Feeling he "didn't fit in," Beck left Utah after six months,[16] taking a job at Washington D.C.'s WPGC in February 1983.[11]Adulthood

While working at WPGC, Beck met first wife, Claire.[17] The couple married and had two daughters, Mary and Hannah. Mary developed cerebral palsy as a result of a series of strokes at birth in 1988.[17] The couple divorced in 1994 amid Beck's struggles with substance abuse.

Along with being a recovering alcoholic and drug addict,[18] Beck has been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.[19][20]

By 1994, Beck was suicidal, and imagined shooting himself to the music of his fellow Washingtonian, Kurt Cobain.[19] However, he cites the help of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) in his sobriety and attended his first AA meeting in November 1994, the month he states he stopped drinking alcohol and smoking cannabis.[19] After getting clean, Beck would claim that he had gotten high every day for the previous 15 years, since the age of sixteen.[11]

Attends Yale University:

In 1996, while working for a New Haven-area radio station, Beck took a theology class at Yale University. The class was called "Early Christology" and it marked the extent of his post secondary education.[19][21] This was followed by Beck going on a "spiritual quest" where he "sought out answers in churches and bookstores."[19]

As Beck later recounted in his books and stage performances, his first attempt at self-education involved six wide-ranging authors: Alan Dershowitz, Pope John Paul II, Adolf Hitler, Billy Graham, Carl Sagan, and Friedrich Nietzsche.[19] During this time, Beck's Mormon friend and former radio partner Pat Gray argued in favor of the "comprehensive worldview" offered by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints,

. . . an offer that Beck vehemently rejected until a few years later.[19]

In 1999, Beck married his second wife, Tania.[19] After they went looking for a faith on a church tour together, they "settled on Mormonism",[19] and joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in October 1999, partly at the urging of his daughter Mary.[22][23] Beck would be baptized by his old friend, and current-day co-worker Pat Gray, in an emotional ceremony.[19] In 2008, Beck created the CD/DVD An Unlikely Mormon: The Conversion Story of Glenn Beck, detailing how he was transformed by the "healing power of Jesus Christ."[24]

The couple have two children, Raphe (who is adopted) and Cheyenne. Beck resides in New Canaan, Connecticut with his wife and four children.[25]

Beck announced in July 2010 that he had been diagnosed with macular dystrophy, saying "A couple of weeks ago I went to the doctor because of my eyes, I can't focus my eyes." The disorder can make it difficult to read, drive or recognize faces.[26]Viewpoints

Beck has described himself as a conservative with libertarian leanings.[27][28] Among his core values Beck lists personal responsibility, private charity, the right to life, freedom of religion, limited government, and family as the cornerstone of society.[29] Beck also believes in low national debt, and has said "A conservative believes that debt creates unhealthy relationships. Everyone, from the government on down, should live within their means and strive for financial independence."[30]

Beck supports individual gun ownership rights and is against gun control legislation.[31]

Beck believes that there is a lack of evidence that human activity is the main cause of global warming.[32] He also says there’s a legitimate case that global warming has, at least in part, been caused by mankind, and has tried to do his part by buying a home with a "green" design.[33] He also views the American Clean Energy and Security Act as a form of wealth redistribution, and has promoted a petition rejecting the Kyoto Protocol.[34]

Ideological influences

An author with ideological influence on Beck was W. Cleon Skousen (1913–2006), an influential conservative American Constitutionalist and faith-based political theorist.[36][37] An anti-communist, supporter of the John Birch Society,[38] and limited-government activist,[39] Skousen's works involved a wide range of subjects: the Six-Day War, Mormon eschatology, New World Order conspiracies, even parenting.[39] Skousen believed that American political, social, and economic elites were working with Communists to foist a world government on the United States.[40]

Beck praised Skousen's "words of wisdom" as "divinely inspired", referencing Skousen's The Naked Communist[41] and especially The 5,000 Year Leap (originally published in 1981),[39] which Beck said in 2007 had "changed his life".[39] According to Skousen's nephew, Mark Skousen, Leap reflects Skousen's "passion for the United States Constitution", which he "felt was inspired by God and the reason behind America’s success as a nation."[42]

The book is touted by Beck as "required reading" to understand the current American political landscape and become a "September twelfth person".[39] Beck authored a foreword for the 2008 edition of Leap and Beck's on-air recommendations in 2009 propelled the book to number one in the government category on Amazon for several months.[39]

In June 2010, Matthew Continetti of the conservative Weekly Standard opined that "Glenn Beck is a Skousenite."[40] Additionally, Alexander Zaitchik, author of the 2010 critical book Common Nonsense: Glenn Beck and the Triumph of Ignorance, which features an entire chapter on "The Ghost of Cleon Skousen",[43] refers to Skousen as "Beck's favorite author and biggest influence", while noting that he authored four of the ten books on Beck's 9-12 Project required-reading list.[44]

In his discussion of Beck and Skousen, Continetti also stated that one of Skousen's works "draws on Carroll Quigley’s Tragedy and Hope (1966), which argues that the history of the 20th century is the product of secret societies in conflict",[40] noting that in Beck's novel The Overton Window, which Beck describes as "faction" (fiction based on fact), one of his characters states "Carroll Quigley laid open the plan in Tragedy and Hope, the only hope to avoid the tragedy of war was to bind together the economies of the world to foster global stability and peace."[40]

Other books of importance that Beck regularly cites on his programs are Amity Shlaes’s The Forgotten Man, Jonah Goldberg’s Liberal Fascism, Larry Schweikart and Michael Allen’s A Patriot's History of the United States, and Burt Folsom Jr.’s New Deal or Raw Deal.[40] Beck has also urged his listeners to read The Coming Insurrection, a book by a French Marxist group[40] discussing what they see as the imminent collapse of capitalist culture.[45]

In addition, on June 4, 2010, Beck endorsed Elizabeth Dilling's 1936 work The Red Network: A Who's Who and Handbook of Radicalism for Patriots, remarking "this is a book, The Red Network, this came in from 1936. People — (Joseph) McCarthy was absolutely right ... This is, who were the communists in America."[46] Beck was criticized however by an array of people, including Menachem Z. Rosensaft and Joe Conason, who noted that Dilling was a proud anti-semite and Nazi sympathizer.[47][48][49]Countering progressivism

"What’s the difference between a communist or socialist and a progressive? Revolution or evolution? One requires a gun and the other eats away slowly."

—Glenn Beck, keynote address to the 2010 Conservative

"I believe we're approaching a last call, all aboard. I had nightmares last night, because I felt maybe I wasn't clear enough. The message I feel I'm supposed to give you is get behind the shield of God."[71]

As a consequence of the religiously-centered rally, the fact that Beck is Mormon has caused concern among several Christian evangicals, some of them Beck fans, on theological grounds.[72][73]

Media career and income

"Glenn Beck has managed to monetize virtually everything that comes out of his mouth."

— Forbes magazine, April 2010 [1][2]

In 2002 Beck created Mercury Radio Arts, a media platform which produces his broadcast, publishing and online projects, as well as his live performances. In addition to broadcasting, Beck has written six New York Times-bestselling books,[1] and is the publisher of Fusion Magazine. He also stars in a one-man stage show that tours the US twice a year.[1][74]

In June 2009, estimators at Forbes calculated Beck's earnings over the previous 12 months at $23 million, with 2009–2010 revenues on track to be higher.[75] Although the majority of his revenue results from his radio show and books, his website's 5 million unique visitors per month also provides at least $3 million annually, while his salary at Fox News is estimated at $2 million per year.[75]

Additionally, Beck's online magazine Fusion sells an array of Beck-themed merchandise,[75] while his website offers a web subscription service called "Insider Extreme" where for $75 a year one gets access to behind-the-scenes footage and a fourth hour of his daily radio show.[1] In April 2010, Forbes calculated Beck's earnings for the previous year (March 2009 - March 2010) to be $32 million.[1]

Beck's controversial views have potentially hurt his earning potential, however; despite millions of viewers, more than 200 companies have joined a boycott of Beck's television program, making it difficult for Fox to sell ads.[76] The time has instead been sold to smaller firms offering such products as Kaopectate, Carbonite, 1-800-PetMeds and Goldline International[76] Goldline International also sponsors Beck's radio show and was the exclusive sponsor of Beck's 2009 comedy tour; their sponsorship has brought Beck criticism.[77]

Since 2005, Beck has toured American cities twice a year, presenting a one-man stage show. His stage productions are a mix of stand-up comedy and inspirational speaking.[124] In a critique of his live act, Salon Magazine's Steve Almond describes Beck as a "wildly imaginative performer, a man who weds the operatic impulses of the demagogue to the grim mutterings of the conspiracy theorist."[125]In Beck's hometown of Mt. Vernon, Washington, supporters and detractors hold handmade signs on the day Beck was honored by the mayor.

In 2005, the summer show Glenn Beck: On Ice advocated diminishing the role of politics in daily life. The 2006 summer show The Mid-Life Crisis Tour featured life's lessons from the perspective of a middle-aged man. In June 2007, Beck completed his tour called An Inconvenient Tour. It focused on the inconvenient aspects of everyday life, and was a parody of Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth. A show from the Beck `08 Unelectable Tour was shown in around 350 movie theaters around the country.[126] The finale of 2009's Common Sense Comedy Tour was simulcast in over 440 theaters.[127] The events have drawn 200,000 fans in recent years.[75]Eiland-Hall

In 2009, lawyers for Beck brought a case (Beck v. Eiland-Hall) against the owner of a satirical website named with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). The claim that the domain name of the website is itself defamatory was described as a first in cyberlaw.[176] Beck's lawyers argued that the site infringed on his trademarked name and that the domain should be turned over to Beck.[177] The WIPO ruled against Beck, but Eiland-Hall voluntarily transferred the domain to Beck anyway, saying that the First Amendment had been upheld and that he no longer had a use for the domain name.[178]Jim Wallis

On March 11, 2010, Beck asked Christians to leave their churches if they hear preaching about social justice because they were code words for Communism and Nazism.[179] This prompted rebuttal from some Christians, such as the Rev. Jim Wallis, an Obama administration advisor and leader of Sojourners Community, a Christian social justice organization.[179][180][181]

Beck later said he meant that if confronted with a Black liberation theology church, such as that of Rev. Jeremiah Wright, one should find another parish.[182] Wallis described this as a mischaracterization[183] and asserted Beck threatened him by stating "the hammer is coming, because little do you know, for eight weeks, we've been compiling information on you."[184]


Glenn Beck was honored by Liberty University - Dr. Jerry Falwell's School - during their 2010 Commencement exercises with an honorary Doctoral Degree.

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