Anthony Fauci Inspired the Erotic Hero of a 1991 Sally Quinn Romance Novel

Anthony Fauci: Sex Symbol, est. 1991

young anthony fauci
Anthony Fauci in 1989, around the time he was inspiring the sexy scientist in a romance novel.
Bettmann / Contributor via Getty Images

Dr. Anthony Fauci’s potentially surprising status as resident COVID-19 task force sex symbol was cemented last month when a petition to name him People‘s Sexiest Man of the Year went viral. And while many attributed the sexually charged Fauci fandom to a general quarantine-era rise in (arguably misplaced) horniness, it turns out Fauci was inspiring sexual fantasies well before a viral pandemic ravaged the globe.

According to author Sally Quinn, Fauci was the inspiration for the romantic lead in her 1991 novel Happy Endings, in which a widowed First Lady falls for a sexy NIH scientist with a “low, melodious, sexy, almost hypnotic” voice. Nearly 30 years later, it turns out the inspiration behind that voice was none other than Fauci.

“I just fell in love with him,” Quinn recently told the Washingtonian‘s Benjamin Wofford of the first time she met Fauci at a Washington function. “Usually those dinners, you make polite conversation, and that’s it. But we had this intense conversation, personal conversation,” she said. “He just exuded charisma.”

According to Quinn, Fauci had everything the author was looking for in a romantic interest for her novel’s lead, who needed to fall for someone “who was really brilliant, and compassionate, and kind, and decent, and honest. All of those things—and sexy.” Sound familiar?

While Fauci’s role as romantic muse may come as news to those of us who thought our generation invented being horny for Fauci, Quinn said the NIAID scientist has known for some time that he inspired the character.

“He just thought it was funny,” Quinn told the Washingtonian. “I think he was a little embarrassed.”

So there you have it. Fauci has been moonlighting as a sex symbol for decades, and he’s always known it. Anthony Fauci: Inspiring sexy scientist fantasies since 1991.

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