LGBTQ History

LGBT History Month profile: Award-winning creator of ‘Glee,’ Ryan Murphy

Ryan Murphy, Producer
b. November 30, 1965

“I dealt with my sexuality at a very early age. I didn’t have a struggle, and I know so many people who were terrified of dealing with it.”

Ryan Murphy

Ryan Murphy is an award-winning film and television director, writer and producer. He is best known for creating the television series “Glee.”

Murphy grew up in Indianapolis, Indiana, in an Irish Catholic family. His mother was a writer. His father was a newspaper circulation director. At 15, after coming out to his parents, Murphy saw a therapist, who said he was just “too precocious for his own good.”

At Indiana University in Bloomington, Murphy worked on the school newspaper and performed with the “Singing Hoosiers,” the university’s show choir.

Starting out as a journalist, Murphy worked for the Miami Herald, the Los Angeles Times and Entertainment Weekly. He began scriptwriting in the late 1990’s. In 1999, he made his first foray into television, creating the teen comedy series “Popular.” He wrote most of the show’s episodes.

In 2003, Murphy created “Nip/Tuck,” winner of the 2005 Golden Globe for best TV drama series. Murphy wrote and directed many episodes and served as executive producer for the show, which ran for seven seasons. “Nip/Tuck” earned him his first Emmy Award nomination for directing.

“Glee,” a groundbreaking musical comedy series created by Murphy, premiered in 2009. In its second season, the show became a pop culture phenomenon and one of the top-rated programs on television among young adults. That season, “Glee” received four Emmy Awards, including one for Murphy for outstanding directing for a comedy series.

For its honest depictions of LGBT characters and story lines, “Glee” also received the 2010 GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Comedy Series. The same year, Murphy directed Julia Roberts in a screenplay he co-wrote based on the book “Eat, Pray, Love.” The film grossed over $200 million worldwide.

Murphy serves on the National Advisory Board of the Young Storytellers Foundation, a Los Angeles area educational program that brings entertainment professionals into the classroom.

Murphy lives in Los Angeles.

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