Meet the child prodigy that changed Hollywood forever
Sydney Opera House
20 Jun 2018
Ronan is an American lawyer and journalist, and in 2018 was listed as one of TIME’s 100 Most Influential People in the World. As a journalist, he has written for The Atlantic, The Wall Street Journal, the LA Times and The New Yorker. He’s twice been named one of ‘30 Under 30’ most influential people in law and policy by Forbes Magazine.
‘But I think [reparations is] this generation’s work. I mean if we get, by the end of my lifetime, for people to say, “Yeah, you know, we really screwed you all.” I mean that would be serious, serious progress.’
He cares about fixing the world
Served as a State Department diplomat in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Reported to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as the United States’ first special adviser for global youth during the Arab Spring revolutions. Served as spokesperson for youth at UNICEF in Nigeria, Angola, and the Darfur region of Sudan, and appeared as an expert witness before the US Congressional human rights caucus.
A commencement address is always a good choice, and in this one at Loyla Marymount University in May 2018, Ronan gives respectful shouts to the sources in his reporting, but also the trust you have to have in yourself to follow a project that nobody else is supporting.
During his research on the case, Farrow’s career was on the rocks. “As a result of doing this story, it nearly fell apart completely. I didn’t know if a year of work would amount to anything”. Not only were lawyers and Hollywood executives discouraging him from reporting on the case, but as they saw the emotional toll it took on him, his friends and family too.
A self-described nerd, Ronan skipped several grades, began college at the tender age of 11 then attended Yale Law School at 16.
Ronan is one of 14 and was raised by his mother Mia Farrow, with adopted siblings from across the world. As early as 10 he followed his mother as she did charity work with communities in need, and he was compelled through his childhood to make a difference in the world.
“[It was] pretty difficult to ignore the world's problems or get too wrapped up in your own BS because you're always conscious of a bit of perspective - not as much as I should be but maybe more than I would have been otherwise. And then, of course, you know, being in places, you know, as I then started doing my own advocacy work and then subsequently when I was in government, where you'd be confronted with some of those incredibly difficult stories firsthand, it felt like the most natural response to try to tell those stories to the world.” (Fresh Air, NPR)