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Meet LGBT History Month icon Ronan Farrow

(Editor's note: October is LGBT History Month, celebrated annually to recognize the notable achievements of LGBT people throughout time. Each day this month, Equality Forum will feature one LGBT icon who has made notable contributions to society and SDGLN will publish the story here in the Causes section. View previous LGBT History Month icons HERE.)

Ronan Farrow is an American investigative journalist. In 2017 the 7,000-word story he broke in The New Yorker was the first to expose rape and sexual assault allegations against media titan Harvey Weinstein. The revelations ignited the #MeToo movement, a global reckoning on sexual predation and abuse of power.

Farrow was born in New York City, the son of the actress Mia Farrow and the filmmaker Woody Allen. He entered Bard College at age 11 and graduated at 15—the youngest student ever to do so. He earned his J.D. from Yale Law School in 2009. The same year, he joined the Obama Administration as special adviser for humanitarian and NGO affairs in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

In 2011 Farrow founded the State Department’s Office of Global Youth Issues, serving under Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. He left government to pursue his doctorate at Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar.

Farrow left Oxford to pursue journalism full-time. He had been writing for major publications such as The Wall Street Journal, The LA Times and The Atlantic. For The Wall Street Journal in 2006, he was among the first to report on the role of Chinese investments in fueling the Darfur conflict. His piece helped spark a major international divestment campaign.

Farrow has since worked as an investigative reporter and television commentator and has served as an anchor for MSNBC and NBC. His stories for The New Yorker were the first to expose sexual abuse allegations against movie producer Harvey Weinstein, CBS CEO Leslie Moonves and other powerful men. Farrow also wrote the first detailed accounts of payments made to suppress sexual misconduct stories about Donald Trump during his 2016 presidential campaign.

Farrow faced institutional push-back and physical threats during his research and reporting on Weinstein. His exposure of the mogul marked a watershed for women’s rights, catalyzing long-suppressed sexual assault and harassment allegations against a multitude of prominent men, many of whom have been ousted from their positions. His reporting on Weinstein for The New Yorker earned the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for public service, along with other prestigious awards.

In 2018 Farrow was honored by the Point Foundation for his #MeToo investigations and his NBC News reporting on transgender issues. He came out during the awards ceremony and thanked the LGBTQ community for being an “incredible source of strength” throughout his work.

Farrow lives in New York with his partner, Jon Lovett, a fellow writer.

Notable quote

“We are grappling, as a culture, with our collective failure to … treat men and women equally …”