Jon Lovett

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Jon Lovett
Jon Lovett SXSW 2017.jpg
Lovett in 2017
Jonathan Ira Lovett

(1982-08-17) August 17, 1982 (age 40)
Alma materWilliams College
  • Speechwriter
  • podcaster
  • television producer
  • screenwriter
  • comedian
Years active2004–present
Political partyDemocratic
PartnerRonan Farrow (2011–2022)

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.[1] 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[edit]

Lovett was born in Woodbury, Long Island[2] to a Reform Jewish family of Ukrainian ancestry[3] that operated a box factory started by his grandfather.[4] He attended Syosset High School. Lovett graduated from Williams College in 2004 with a degree in mathematics.[5] His senior thesis, Rotating Linkages in a Normed Plane,[6] led to a related publication on the same topic in American Mathematical Monthly.[7] Lovett was the 2004 Williams College class speaker at his commencement.[8] After graduation, Lovett spent a year working as a paralegal and doing stand-up comedy on the side.[5]

Political speechwriter[edit]

Lovett (fourth from left) with President Obama and other speechwriters in 2011

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.[9] Then, he briefly worked in Jon Corzine's Senate office.[6] He was hired in 2005 to assist Sarah Hurwitz as a speechwriter for then-Senator Hillary Clinton,[6] and he continued to write speeches for her through her 2008 presidential campaign.[9]

When Clinton lost the 2008 Democratic primary contest, Lovett won an anonymous contest to write speeches for President Barack Obama in the White House.[9] Lovett wrote speeches in the Obama administration for three years, working closely with Jon Favreau and David Axelrod.[4] Prominent speeches that he wrote include policy speeches on financial reform and don't ask, don't tell,[6] as well as remarks at the White House Correspondents' Dinner.[10]

Lovett secretly officiated the first same-sex marriage in the White House, before the Obama administration supported same-sex marriage.[10][11][12]

Media career[edit]


Before Barack Obama ran for reelection, Lovett moved to California to become a screenwriter,[13][14] citing a desire to write independently and focus on creative comedy full-time.[6] 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.[15] Lovett then worked as a writer, producer, and advisor on season three of HBO's The Newsroom.[10] From 2012 to 2015, Lovett also contributed opinion pieces to venues like The Atlantic.[16]

Crooked Media[edit]

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.[17] The podcast was intended to cover the 2016 presidential race, and not expected to continue after that.[18] 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.[18] So they founded a liberal media company, Crooked Media, with the flagship podcast Pod Save America.[19] 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.[18] 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.[20] 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.[21] Lovett was also involved in launching Crooked Media's voter recruitment and education project, Vote Save America.[22]

Personal life[edit]

Lovett is gay.[14] He and investigative journalist and author Ronan Farrow became romantically involved in 2011.[23][24] 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.[25][26] However, in a March 2023 episode of his podcast, Lovett stated that he was single and had been exploring dating apps.[27]


  1. ^ "Team". Crooked Media. Retrieved February 17, 2020.
  2. ^ "Dysfunctional first family". Jewish Journal. February 6, 2013. Retrieved December 2, 2016.
  3. ^ Jon Lovett (September 28, 2019). "Lovett or Leave It". (Podcast). Crooked Media. Retrieved October 5, 2019.
  4. ^ a b "Talking Trump Transition With President Obama Speechwriter Jon Lovett". Hugh Hewitt. November 22, 2016. Retrieved December 2, 2016.
  5. ^ a b "Creative Artists Agency Bio". Creative Artists Agency. Archived from the original on September 12, 2016. Retrieved December 2, 2016.
  6. ^ a b c d e 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.
  7. ^ "American Mathematical Monthly August-September 2007". Mathematical Association of America. Retrieved December 2, 2016.
  8. ^ "Commencement 2004". Williams College. June 6, 2004. Retrieved December 2, 2016.
  9. ^ a b c "Jon Lovett speaks on politics, election season". The Tufts Daily. October 15, 2012. Retrieved December 2, 2016.
  10. ^ a b c "Aspen Ideas Festival Bio". Aspen Ideas Festival. 2015. Retrieved December 2, 2016.
  11. ^ "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.
  12. ^ "Obama's Former Speechwriter Reportedly Held Secret Same-Sex Marriage at the White House". July 7, 2015. Retrieved September 15, 2018.
  13. ^ "Q&A: Jon Lovett, Former Obama Speechwriter, on His NBC Comedy 1600 Penn". Time Magazine. January 10, 2013. Retrieved December 2, 2016.
  14. ^ a b "White House Speechwriter Leaving for Hollywood". The Atlantic. September 6, 2011.
  15. ^ "Jon Lovett Filmography". IMDb. Retrieved December 2, 2016.
  16. ^ "All Stories by Jon Lovett". The Atlantic. 2020. Retrieved January 31, 2020.
  17. ^ "'Obama bros' learn to love Hillary". Politico. October 6, 2016. Retrieved December 2, 2016.
  18. ^ a b c Zengerle, Jason (November 22, 2017). "The Voices in Blue America's Head". The New York Times. Retrieved January 31, 2020.
  19. ^ Rutenberg, Jim, Opposition and a Shave: Former Obama Aides Counter Trump, Media, The New York Times, March 20, 2017
  20. ^ "Obama's former speechwriter launches new podcast". iNews. March 22, 2017. Retrieved January 2, 2018.
  21. ^ "Pod Save America announces nationwide tour". Consequence of Sound. August 16, 2017. Retrieved January 2, 2018.
  22. ^ 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.
  23. ^ "Full transcript: Journalist Ronan Farrow on Recode Decode". Vox. Vox Media. May 4, 2019. Retrieved October 15, 2019.
  24. ^ Lear, Norman (2017). "Jon Lovett". All of the Above with Norman Lear. Retrieved October 15, 2019.
  25. ^ Farrow, Ronan (October 15, 2019). Catch and Kill: Lies, Spies, and a Conspiracy to Protect Predators. Little, Brown and Company.
  26. ^ Arnold, Amanda (October 16, 2019). "Ronan Farrow Proposed to His Fiancé in a Draft of Catch and Kill". The Cut. Retrieved October 17, 2019.
  27. ^ Lovett, Jon (March 18, 2023). “If It Ain’t Woke Don’t Fix It.” Lovett or Leave It. Crooked Media. Retrieved March 18, 2023.

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