Ben Stein at Skegg’s Lecture Series

By John Stran

Youngstown residents packed Stambaugh Auditorium on Sept. 20 to witness Ben Stein, a writer, lawyer and actor, promote his numerous life experiences.

Stein is most known for his TV and movie appearances including “Win Ben Stein’s Money” and for playing a notorious role in “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” as a teacher uttering a repetitive “Bueller” while taking class attendance.

Photo by John Stran/The Jambar

Born in Washington D.C., Stein said he knew of Youngstown from an early age because most of the appliances in his home were labeled Youngstown Sheet and Tube. He said his father described the city as the heart of America.

Stein’s lecture gave insight of his life journey from a “student radical” studying economics at  Columbia University and law at Yale, to his time as a speechwriter for Richard Nixon.

“I grew up incredibly blessed, but by no means rich,” he said.

Stein confessed his admiration of Nixon to the crowd.

Stein said not only did he like Nixon, he loved him and believes to this day there was no scandal in Watergate.

He briefly described the current presidency from his view, and said his vote for Donald Trump created a bit of a stir among his group of friends. He said one friend’s wife no longer allows her husband and Stein to speak to each other.

Stein credits much of his success on screen and in academia to connections, saying it was his father who helped him get the speechwriter role and a close friend who helped start his career as an actor.

Toward the end of the speech, Stein gave advice to students and young adults in the audience who he describes as younger than him, Stein being 73.

He told the crowd connections are everything, but to work hard and learn to appreciate work. He advised people to enjoy their youth and when the time comes, marry the right man or woman.

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