Jeffrey Glassman began his promising career as a diplomat in the 1980s. He quickly received positions in Liberia and Moscow; he helped set up the U.S. Embassy in a post-Soviet Minsk; he worked under Madeleine Albright at the U.S. mission to the United Nations. But in the 1990s he started to develop symptoms of primary lateral sclerosis, a rare, degenerative disease that has left him barely able to walk or talk. He started receiving less demanding assignments, and in 2010, two years after he was ordered into retirement, he sued the State Department for discrimination.
Sept. 20, 2012 Jeffrey Glassman, a retired career diplomat with primary lateral sclerosis (PLS), sits in the sun as his 12-year-old daughter, Shira, runs past him in Washington. The rare, degenerative disease causes the gradual deterioration of motor functions, but is non-fatal. In 2007, Glassman was ordered to retire from the State Department, and the family moved back to Washington from his post in South Africa. He left the diplomatic service in 2008, suing them in 2010. Bill O'Leary/The Washington Post Buy Photo