Ronan Farrow: From State Department to Twitter legend to MSNBC host (A timeline)

February 24

In this 2011 photo released by the United Nations Foundation, Ronan Farrow speaks during the Social Good Summit in New York. (AP/United Nations Foundation/Gary He)

Monday afternoon, 26-year-old Ronan Farrow kicks off his very own news program on MSNBC, “Ronan Farrow Daily.” A couple years ago, you may have only recognized his name if you had an in-depth knowledge of celebrity offspring and human rights advocates. Now, Farrow (the biological son of Mia Farrow and Woody Allen — or is it Frank Sinatra?) is everywhere.

Thanks to a talent for being on-camera, a massively public family scandal, and a few skewering tweets that have made him something of a Twitter legend, Farrow has risen through the ranks from child prodigy to State Department employee to major cable news network host. A look at how that happened:

2004: Farrow graduates from Bard College at age 15, the school’s youngest graduate ever. “Boy genius” title cemented.

2006: Already serving as a spokesperson for UNICEF and working on rights issues around the world, he’s also a journalist, and writes a controversial Wall Street Journal piece about Chinese investments and the Darfur conflict. That story shows his expertise in human rights and foreign policy, and he starts appearing on TV as a commentator.

2009: Farrow graduates from Yale Law School at the age of 21. Most law school students haven’t even started by that age. (Feeling bad about yourself yet?)

Post-law school: Lands a job at the State Department, as a special advisor focusing on conflict in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

2011: Starts working alongside Hillary Clinton with a lengthy title: Special Advisor to the Secretary of State for Global Youth Issues and director of the State Department’s Global Youth Issues office.

Summer 2012: Already an avid Twitter user about human rights issues, his social media presence explodes after a skewering tweet on Father’s Day, referring to Woody Allen’s marriage to Ronan’s adopted step-sister, Soon-Yi:

 

Fall 2012: Awarded the prestigious Rhodes Scholarship, leaves the State Department to study international development issues at Oxford. (Feeling really bad about yourself yet?)

August 2013: Makes it on to Vanity Fair’s International Best Dressed List — just to rub it in.

October 2013: Farrow goes viral online once more when Mia Farrow tells Vanity Fair that Ronan is “possibly” the biological son of Frank Sinatra (her first husband). Ronan chimes in with the quote of the year:

 

October 2013: MSNBC announces Farrow’s new show. Network president Phil Griffin calls it a “game-changer,” and says what we already know: “Ronan has packed more experience in his 25 years of life than most people have in a lifetime.”

January 2014: Woody Allen’s sexual assault allegations resurface after 20 years, as Mia and Ronan are both disgusted by the Golden Globes giving him a Lifetime Achievement Award. They make their feelings known on Twitter. Later, Ronan’s sister, Dylan, writes a New York Times piece detailing the abuse; Allen denies it all in a follow-up. Over the next few weeks, the story once again takes on a new life of its own.

 

February 24, 2014: Farrow’s show launches at 1 p.m. on MSNBC, as the channel revamps its daytime line-up. Will he be, as Griffin predicted, a game-changer?

Emily Yahr covers pop culture and entertainment for the Post. Follow her on Twitter @EmilyYahr.
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