Growing Up Bannon: ‘I Liked to Fight and I Liked to Read’

Chief White House Strategist Steve Bannon speaking at the 2017 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland.
Gage Skidmore / Flickr

Former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon spoke briefly about his childhood in an interview with the author of a new biography on Bannon’s life.

“I liked to fight and I liked to read,” he admitted in a video interview with author Keith Koffler for the new book Bannon: Always the Rebel.

Bannon said that his grandfather only made it through third grade and his parents were high school graduates but that his mother and his grandparents were both avid readers, and he recalled reading a lot growing up.

Bannon admitted that he was in the middle of the class in school growing up and was an average athlete, living a solid Catholic family life.

“I was not any super achiever, so if your kids are in the middle of the pack, and average athletes everything going to be fine,” he chuckled. “It will always work out in time.”

His family, he said, grew up in an old house in an older neighborhood, and while many of their neighbors moved to the suburbs, his family stayed in the house.

“The neighborhood over time, the north side of Richmond became more of a predominantly black working-class neighborhood, which was fine with us,” he said.

He said his grandmother was a Southern Baptist who converted to Catholicism and was a daily communicant, who imparted her faith on the family.

“The Catholic Church becomes a cultural thing … particularly being Irish Catholic,” he said. “You’re raised a Catholic, it stays with you forever.”

He explained that his working-class Catholic upbringing made him skeptical of the traditional ultra-capitalist economic mantra of so many conservatives.

“I’m a capitalist, but it’s capitalism in a defined context,” he said, dismissing the more Libertarian and Austrian economic models.

Bannon: Always the Rebel is available for purchase at bookstores and online.

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