Second B(B2)

B2 was the eldest child of a prestigious and wealthy family. His father and grandfather were prominent U.S. political leaders, and his mother the daughter of a successful publisher. B2’s ancestry traced directly to the American colonists.

The death of his 3-year-old sister when B2 was 7 devastated his family. Left an only child for a time, he brought consolation to his mother through his humor, playfulness, and good cheer, a role he often relied upon as he matured into adulthood.

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After attending a prestigious prep school from seventh through ninth grade, B2 was accepted to Phillips Academy, a highly selective boarding school in Andover, Massachusetts. It was the same school both his father and grandfather had attended, but unlike his father, B2 was not an academic or athletic standout. He was very active and social, however, playing baseball and serving as head cheerleader, standing out among his classmates for his humor and antics.

B2 went on to Yale University, where he was admitted under the university’s “legacy” policies that gave preferential treatment to children of alumni. Both B2’s father and grandfather were Yale graduates.

While at Yale, B2 was an active fraternity member (serving as president his senior year), cheerleader, and member of the rugby team. He was also a member of Skull and Bones, an undergraduate secret society of which his father had also been a member. The secretive Skull and Bones is known for its prominent alumni and has often been the subject of conspiracy theories.

A self-proclaimed “average” student, B2 received a bachelor’s degree in history with a C grade point average. Nevertheless, he was accepted by Harvard University’s prestigious MBA program after serving a two-year commission in the Air National Guard. In the Air Guard, B2 was selected to serve as a pilot, despite low pilot aptitude tests and irregular attendance to air training. He was honorably discharged prior to attending Harvard.

Harvard classmates and professors remember B2 as having “a relaxed attitude and an unusual confidence that stood out even in a class of some of America’s most confident.”4 Though an average student, B2 was described as a “quick study—not a very deep thinker, but an efficient one . . . more of a listener than a participant.”5 With a ready sense of humor, B2 stood out in team-based activities and was often chosen to lead. B2 completed his MBA, calling it “a turning point” that taught him “the principles of capital, how it is accumulated, risked, spent, managed.”6

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