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After graduating from Brown University, Birnbach worked at The Village Voice, where she co–wrote the Scenes column. Since The Official Preppy Handbook Lisa has written an additional 15 books, for newspapers such as the New York Times, and for magazines such as Glamour, Parade, Rolling Stone, and TV Guide. She was the deputy editor of Spy magazine.
Birnbach worked as a technical consultant on the movie Dead Poets Society. She has co–hosted Good Night America and was a correspondent on The Early Show, hosting the segment, “Yikes! I'm a Grownup!” She is co–creator and co–host of ABC's Zero Hour, co–writer of the off–Broadway revue, Loose Lips, and until 2007, she hosted the comedy radio program, The Lisa Birnbach Show.
Birnbach has three children named Sam, a comedian, Boco (Rebecca), and Masie. She was formally married to producer Steven Haft. She lives in New York City. She is good friends with actress and writer Jamie Lee Curtis.