Reich was born with multiple epiphyseal dysplasia (Fairbanks disease). He is 4 feet 10.5 inches (148.6 cm) tall. He has at times frankly discussed this fact about himself, often with humor. He once appeared with the 6 ft 4 in (193 cm) Conan O'Brien in a sketch on Late Night with Conan O'Brien.
He taught at Brandeis University, Harvard University, and the University of California at Berkeley. From 1973 to 1974 he served as law clerk to Judge Frank M. Coffin, Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, and from 1974 to 1976 was Assistant to the U.S. Solicitor General, Robert Bork. In 1977, President Jimmy Carter appointed him Director of the Policy Planning Staff at the Federal Trade Commission.
On February 2017, he made unfounded accusations on Breitbart News and the rest of the right-wing media for organizing the riot in the Milo Yiannopoulos speech in the University of California at Berkeley. In fact, the rioters at the campus were radical leftists, having shown their distaste of capitalism.
In the event of a win by Joe Biden in the 2020 presidential election, Reich called for a Third Reich-style rectification campaign dubbed the "Truth and Reconciliation Commission" to undo the success of Donald Trump achievements, and to “name every official, politician, executive, and media mogul whose greed and cowardice enabled this catastrophe.”
- Anderson Cooper, "Interview with Andy Borowitz, Robert Reich," (On Subject of FDA Approval of Growth Hormone for Short Children), CNN, June 24, 2003.
- Mark Leibovich, "The True Measure of a Man: Robert Reich Rises Above the Height Issue in His Run for Governor," Washington Post, March 14, 2002. Available at http://www.shortsupport.org/News/0296.html