GTN Presents: Ronan Farrow

April 2nd, 2013

In this GTN exclusive, Ronan Farrow reveals an obstacle many people don’t realize he had to overcome.

What was the biggest obstacle you’ve have to overcome?
I spent a number of formative years in and out of a wheelchair, which is something a lot of people don’t know about me, when I was a teenager between college and law school and then actually quite a bit of law school. I was starting in a new place, anyone who’s started at a new school understands, I already stuck out like a sore thumb because I was younger than everyone else and had to do all of that with a disability. It was interesting growing up in a family of people with significantly worse disabilities and significantly greater struggles because it kept me from going insane and losing perspective; but it did lead to some entertaining anecdotes. For instance I testified before congress, I gave interviews, I did a variety of work around the world- all unable to wear pants because I had my legs, broken bones, held together with big metal halos that look like medieval torture devices. All I could fit over those were basically 1980s MC Hammer pants. I did a lot of stuff in my hammer pants, it did give me a window into the fact that we all have this passport into the world of the healthy and the living, and it can be revoked real quick. While I was surrounded by people who had significantly greater struggles than even that , it did give me a really personal relationship with how important it is for us to take advantage of the time that we can be fully functional and on top of things and use those tools to make a difference.