Stein at Beverly Hills High School for "Career Day", May 16, 2006
July 23, 1971 |
Edison, New Jersey
|Spouse(s)||Cassandra Barry (March 2002-present)|
Early life 
Stein grew up in Edison, New Jersey, the son of a salesman. His family is Jewish. Stein attended J.P. Stevens High School, where he was a writer and entertainment editor for Hawkeye, the student newspaper. He majored in English at Stanford University and wrote a weekly column for the school's student newspaper, The Stanford Daily. He graduated in 1993 with a BA and an MA and moved to New York City, and then to Los Angeles in 2005.
Stein's career began as a writer and researcher for Martha Stewart Living. He worked a year for Stewart and later quipped that she had fired him twice in the same day. Stein did fact-checking at various publications before becoming a sports editor and columnist for Time Out New York, where he stayed for two years. While working at Time Out New York, he was a contestant on MTV's short-lived game show Idiot Savants. Stein joined Time in August 1997.
Stein sometimes appears as a commentator on television programs such as I Love the '80s. He also co-produced three TV pilots: an animated series for VH1 and two for ABC. The animated show, titled Hey Joel, aired in Canada and later in South Africa, while the other two were never picked up. He was a writer and producer for the sitcom Crumbs.
Stein taught a class on humor writing at Princeton University before moving to Los Angeles in early 2005 to write for the Los Angeles Times. In 2012, he published a book, Man Made: A Stupid Quest for Masculinity, ISBN 978-0446573122.
Controversial columns 
On January 24, 2006, the Los Angeles Times published a column by Stein under the headline "Warriors and Wusses" in which he wrote that it is a cop-out to oppose a war and yet claim to support the soldiers fighting it. "I don’t support our troops....When you volunteer for the U.S. military, you pretty much know you’re not going to be fending off invasions from Mexico and Canada. So you’re willingly signing up to be a fighting tool of American imperialism...". He prefaced his argument by stating that he does not support the troops in Iraq despite supporting the troops being "a position that even Calvin is unwilling to urinate on." Stein states he did three interviews about the column on the Hugh Hewitt radio show, with Tony Snow, and with a "liberal" in Oregon. Mark Steyn wrote in a New York Sun opinion piece that Stein was to be congratulated for the consistency of his position: "Stein is a hawkish chicken, disdaining the weasel formulation too many anti-war folks take refuge in." Warrant Officer Michael D. Fay wrote in The New York Times that Stein's comments made him feel "sad because they’re so mistaken, sad because their voices are granted a modicum of credence in the public forum, and sad because they leave me feeling a little less at home."
In July 2010, Stein wrote a humor column for Time in which he expressed his discomfort at the impact immigration of Indians has had on his hometown of Edison, New Jersey. Time and Stein subsequently publicly apologized for the article. Stein's apology read: "I truly feel stomach-sick that I hurt so many people. I was trying to explain how, as someone who believes that immigration has enriched American life and my hometown in particular, I was shocked that I could feel a tiny bit uncomfortable with my changing town when I went to visit it. If we could understand that reaction, we'd be better equipped to debate people on the other side of the immigration issue." United States Senator from New Jersey Bob Menendez submitted a letter to Time stating that the column "not only fell terribly flat but crossed the lines of offensiveness toward a particular community that has dealt with violent hate crimes in the past. Mr. Stein's mocking allusions to revered deities in the Hindu religion are particularly reprehensible." Kal Penn, actor and former associate director in the White House Office of Public Engagement, also criticized the column for its portrayal of Indian Americans. Slate magazine writer Tom Scocca wrote: "To a charitable reader, it's clear that the piece was trying not to be offensive. Stein's description of his childhood small-town idyll before the mass immigration is deliberately fake-sentimental, describing lowlife white kids stealing things and getting drunk. He was trying to make more fun of white people than he made of Indian people."
- Stein, Joel. (2012-05-21) The Best Book I've Ever Read. TIME. Retrieved on 2012-06-02.
- "Authors@Google: Joel Stein". Youtube. September 28, 2012. Retrieved January 19, 2013.
- Joel Stein, Warriors and wusses, Los Angeles Times, January 24, 2006.
- Joel Stein chat transcript, Los Angeles Times, January 23, 2007.
- Dave Pierre, LA Times Columnist Joel "I Don't Support Our Troops" Stein Grilled by Hugh Hewitt, NewsBusters, January 24, 2006.
- Mark Steyn, Now We Know, The New York Sun, January 30, 2006.
- Michael D. Fay, The Next ‘Best Generation’, The New York Times, March 27, 2006.
- Stein, Joel. "My Own Private India". Time. Retrieved July 2, 2010.
- Senator Menendez Press release, July 12, 2010.
- Penn, Kal (July 2, 2010). "The "Hilarious" Xenophobia of Time's Joel Stein". The Huffington Post. Retrieved July 14, 2010.
- Tom Scocca (July 6, 2010). "Joel Stein's Immigrant Problem". Slate (magazine). Retrieved 8 July 2010.
- Joel Stein's official site
- Biography at the Los Angeles Times
- Biography at TIME
- Joel Stein at The Hoover Institution video
- Joel Stein at the Internet Movie Database
- Podcast Interview on The Gentlemen's Club with Caleb Bacon
- More Stories About Some Kid, a blog Stein co-writes with wife Cassandra Barry on Babble.com
- Joel Stein Pisses People Off in-depth and honest podcast interview.