A citizen of both France and the United States, Denizet-Lewis was born and raised in San Francisco, California. He graduated from the French American International High School, at which he co-founded the school newspaper, "The Exposer," played varsity basketball, and wrote plays that were produced by the school. Four years later, he obtained a bachelor's degree in journalism from Medill at Northwestern University, where he was a columnist and sports editor for the Daily Northwestern and joined the Phi Delta Theta fraternity. His father is Dennis Lewis.
A former editor-in-chief at The Good Men Project and Features Editor at XY (magazine), Denizet-Lewis began writing for the Times Magazine when he was 26. In the decade since, he has penned cover stories and features about sex, gender, youth culture, sports, addiction, music, and dogs. He is currently working on a book about dogs in America (titled Travels With Casey), for which he drove around the country for four months in an RV with his dog. Denizet-Lewis is the author of two books published by Simon & Schuster. The first, America Anonymous: Eight Addicts in Search of a Life, is an account of three years in the lives of eight addicts—and a larger exploration of our culture of addiction. The second, "American Voyeur: Dispatches From the Far Reaches of Modern Life," is a collection of Denizet-Lewis's previously published writing.
Denizet-Lewis's non-fiction often takes the form of in-depth profiles or exposes, marked by embedded research. His work examines and explicates manifold aspects of what might loosely be called American culture. For instance, Denizet-Lewis spotlights trends, such as the emergence and implications of down-low culture and the increased prevalence of middle-schoolers coming out as gay or bisexual. He has also written about, among other things, addiction, sports, religion, sex, fraternities, ex-gays, NAMBLA, Abercrombie & Fitch, lipstick lesbians, and gender dysphoria. Denizet-Lewis is also often called upon to profile celebrities, including James Franco, Jake Gyllenhaal, Barry Bonds, Brad Gilbert, Perez Hilton, Barney Frank, and Dr. Drew.
In 2009, the Medill School of Journalism put Denizet-Lewis on the cover of its quarterly magazine under the headline, "American Voyeur: Benoit Denizet-Lewis Reports From The Fringes Of Our National Culture."
Denizet-Lewis received an Alicia Patterson Foundation grant in 2004. He has twice been a finalist for the Livingston Award for journalists under 35. He has received the Excellence in Journalism Award from the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association, the Maggie Award[clarification needed] for magazine writing, and the Peninsula Press Club Award for sports writing and the GLAAD award[clarification needed] for magazine writing. In 2010, Denizet-Lewis was the recipient of a GLAAD Media Award for "Outstanding Magazine Article" ("Coming Out in Middle School", The New York Times Magazine).
- French American International School - Benoit Denizet-Lewis
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- Can you be white and "on the Down Low?" - By Benoit Denizet-Lewis - Slate Magazine
- Denizet-Lewis, Benoit (September 27, 2009). "Coming Out in Middle School". The New York Times. Retrieved April 3, 2010.
- Friends with Benefits : NPR
- "Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) - 21st Annual GLAAD Media Awards - New York: Purchas". GLAAD. Retrieved 2010-03-29.
- Forty Under 40: Media