Children of celebrities sometimes get a bad rap, either for being ridiculously spoiled or allowing their fame-by-proximity and piles of money to turn them into vacant coke-snorting wastes of food. If you'd like an example that disproves the rule, though, look no further than Ronan Farrow.
Ronan, who is the son of Mia Farrow and Woody Allen, was recently awarded the prestigious Rhodes Scholarship to study at Oxford University. Clearly this is an incredible honor and opportunity for the 23-year-old, but it's just the latest in a series of startling accomplishments for him.
Not only has Ronan escaped the celebrity curse, he's a bona-fide prodigy who just may change the world.
Ronan had a bit of a rough start in life when his parents went through a highly unpleasant separation. As you may remember, Farrow and Allen broke up when Allen began a sexual relationship with Farrow's adopted daughter Soon-Yi (when she was 18, and he was 56!) whom he later married. As if that wasn't, ah, challenging enough, Ronan's parents had a long public legal battle for the custody of their three children, which got very nasty, and resulted in Ronan's estrangement from Allen.
Ronan once said of his father's relationship with Soon-Yi,
He's my father married to my sister. That makes me his son and his brother-in-law. That is such a moral transgression. I cannot see him. I cannot have a relationship with my father and be morally consistent ... I lived with all these adopted children, so they are my family. To say Soon-Yi was not my sister is an insult to all adopted children.
Yeah, I ... can't even imagine.
It seems like that would be enough to send anyone into a lifetime of therapy and poor personal decisions, but Farrow was a spectacularly gifted child. At age 11—yes, eleven—he became the youngest student to attend Bard College in Massachusetts. He earned his bachelor’s degree, double-majoring in biology and philosophy, when he was just 15 years old, and went on to get a law degree from Yale.
Ronan has already worked for UNICEF and for former UN Ambassador Richard Holbrooke; has done humanitarian work in Angola, Liberia, and Sudan; and he's currently a special adviser to Hillary Clinton for global youth issues.
Did I mention he's only 23?
The Rhodes Scholarship will cover all expenses for two or three years of study at Oxford, where he'll study for a doctorate in international development. Man, this is a kid to watch, don't you think? With so many accomplishments under his belt already, who knows what he'll achieve over his lifetime.
Celebrity kids, listen up. Sure, you can spend your energy clubbing and dating other famous people and trying to be photographed—or you can live your life trying to make a positive impact on the world. You know, one that doesn't involve selling your own perfume.
Did you know that Mia Farrow and Woody Allen's kid was this smart?
Image via Splash News