Jonathan Ira Lovett
August 17, 1982
Woodbury, New York, U.S.
|Alma mater||Williams College|
|Partner(s)||Ronan Farrow (2011–present; engaged)|
Jonathan Ira Lovett (born August 17, 1982) is an American podcaster, comedian, and former speechwriter. Lovett is a co-founder of Crooked Media, along with fellow former White House staffers during the Obama administration, Jon Favreau and Tommy Vietor. Lovett is a regular host of the Crooked Media podcasts Pod Save America and Lovett or Leave It. As a speechwriter, he worked for President Barack Obama as well as for Hillary Clinton when she was a United States Senator and a 2008 presidential candidate. Lovett also co-created the NBC sitcom 1600 Penn, and was a writer and producer on the third season of HBO's The Newsroom.
Early life and education
Lovett was born in Woodbury, Long Island to a Reform Jewish family of Ukrainian ancestry that operated a box factory started by his grandfather. He attended Syosset High School. Lovett graduated from Williams College in 2004 with a degree in mathematics. His senior thesis, Rotating Linkages in a Normed Plane led to a related publication on the same topic in American Mathematical Monthly. Lovett was also the 2004 Williams College Class Speaker at his commencement. After graduation, Lovett spent a year working as a paralegal and doing stand-up comedy on the side.
In 2004, Lovett volunteered for John Kerry's presidential campaign. He was asked to write a statement for the candidate, and his work led to an offer of a writing internship. Then, he briefly worked in Jon Corzine's Senate office. He was hired in 2005 to assist Sarah Hurwitz as a speechwriter for then-Senator Hillary Clinton, and he continued to write speeches for her through her 2008 presidential campaign.
When Clinton lost the 2008 Democratic primary contest, Lovett won an anonymous contest to write speeches for President Barack Obama in the White House. Lovett wrote speeches in the Obama administration for three years, working closely with Jon Favreau and David Axelrod. Prominent speeches that he wrote include policy speeches on financial reform and don't ask, don't tell, as well as remarks at the White House Correspondents' Dinner.
Before Barack Obama ran for reelection, Lovett moved to California to become a screenwriter, citing a desire to write independently and focus on creative comedy full-time. Lovett collaborated with Josh Gad and Jason Winer on the television series 1600 Penn, of which Lovett was a co-creator, executive producer, and writer from 2012 until its cancellation in 2013. Lovett then worked as a writer, producer, and advisor on season three of HBO's The Newsroom. From 2012 to 2015, Lovett also contributed opinion pieces to venues like The Atlantic.
Starting in March 2016, Lovett co-hosted The Ringer's political podcast Keepin' it 1600 with former fellow Obama staffers Jon Favreau, Dan Pfeiffer, and Tommy Vietor. The podcast was intended to cover the 2016 presidential race, and not expected to continue after that. But after the November 2016 election, Lovett, Favreau and Vietor wished to become engaged in politics again without having to leave Los Angeles or return to political campaigning. So they founded a liberal media company, Crooked Media, with the flagship podcast Pod Save America. Crooked Media, and Pod Save America in particular, has been compared to previous left-wing efforts like Air America to match America's Conservative talk radio, and Lovett has been characterized as providing comic relief to the programming. The company has since launched a range of podcasts, several of which regularly feature Lovett.
In March 2017, Lovett began hosting Lovett or Leave It, a panel show podcast produced by Crooked Media. The podcast, typically recorded in front of a live audience in Los Angeles, with Lovett and Crooked Media, embarked on national and international tours featuring live versions of both Pod Save America and Lovett or Leave It. Lovett was also involved in launching Crooked Media's voter recruitment and education project, Vote Save America.
Lovett is gay. He and investigative journalist and author Ronan Farrow have been romantically involved since 2011. In October 2019, Farrow published Catch and Kill, where he publicly announced their engagement; he had proposed to Lovett in an earlier draft of the book.
- "Team". Crooked Media. Retrieved February 17, 2020.
- "Dysfunctional first family". Jewish Journal. February 6, 2013. Retrieved December 2, 2016.
- Jon Lovett (September 28, 2019). "Lovett or Leave It". crooked.com (Podcast). Crooked Media. Retrieved October 5, 2019.
- "Talking Trump Transition With President Obama Speechwriter Jon Lovett". Hugh Hewitt. November 22, 2016. Retrieved December 2, 2016.
- "Creative Artists Agency Bio". Creative Artists Agency. Retrieved December 2, 2016.
- Horowitz, Jason (September 2, 2011). "Jon Lovett's written for the president, but will that get him to Hollywood?". The Washington Post. Retrieved December 2, 2016.
- "American Mathematical Monthly August-September 2007". Mathematical Association of America. Retrieved December 2, 2016.
- "Commencement 2004". Williams College. June 6, 2004. Retrieved December 2, 2016.
- "Jon Lovett speaks on politics, election season". The Tufts Daily. October 15, 2012. Retrieved December 2, 2016.
- "Aspen Ideas Festival Bio". Aspen Ideas Festival. 2015. Retrieved December 2, 2016.
- "FIREWORKS EDITION – REVEALED: A clandestine gay wedding in the White House during Obama's first term (officiant: Jon Lovett) – CHRISTIE to return to MORNING JOE after 18 months – SCOTT WALKER joins Sn". POLITICO. Retrieved September 15, 2018.
- "Obama's Former Speechwriter Reportedly Held Secret Same-Sex Marriage at the White House". July 7, 2015. Retrieved September 15, 2018.
- "Q&A: Jon Lovett, Former Obama Speechwriter, on His NBC Comedy 1600 Penn". Time Magazine. January 10, 2013. Retrieved December 2, 2016.
- "White House Speechwriter Leaving for Hollywood".
- "Jon Lovett Filmography". IMDb. Retrieved December 2, 2016.
- "All Stories by Jon Lovett". 2020. Retrieved January 31, 2020.
- "'Obama bros' learn to love Hillary". Politico. October 6, 2016. Retrieved December 2, 2016.
- Zengerle, Jason (November 22, 2017). "The Voices in Blue America's Head". The New York Times. Retrieved January 31, 2020.
- Rutenberg, Jim, Opposition and a Shave: Former Obama Aides Counter Trump, Media, The New York Times, March 20, 2017
- "Obama's former speechwriter launches new podcast". iNews. March 22, 2017. Retrieved January 2, 2018.
- "Pod Save America announces nationwide tour". Consequence of Sound. August 16, 2017. Retrieved January 2, 2018.
- Lidsky, David (October 13, 2018). "The Pod Save America TV show is not going to save democracy–or even your Friday nights". Fast Company. Retrieved February 1, 2020.
- "Full transcript: Journalist Ronan Farrow on Recode Decode". Vox. Vox Media. May 4, 2019. Retrieved October 15, 2019.
- Lear, Norman (2017). "Jon Lovett". All of the Above with Norman Lear. Retrieved October 15, 2019.
- Farrow, Ronan (October 15, 2019). Catch and Kill: Lies, Spies, and a Conspiracy to Protect Predators. Little, Brown and Company.
- Arnold, Amanda (October 16, 2019). "Ronan Farrow Proposed to His Fiancé in a Draft of Catch and Kill". The Cut. Retrieved October 17, 2019.