Bannon in 2010
|Counselor to the President
January 20, 2017
|President||Donald Trump (elect)|
|Succeeding||John Podesta (2015)|
|Born||Stephen Kevin Bannon
November 27, 1953
Norfolk, Virginia, U.S.
|Spouse(s)||Cathleen Houff Jordan
Mary Piccard (1995–1997)
Diane Clohesy (divorced 2009)
|Alma mater||Virginia Polytechnic Institute
and State University (BA)
Georgetown University (MA)
Harvard University (MBA)
|Service/branch||United States Navy|
|Years of service||1976–1983|
Stephen Kevin “Steve” Bannon (born November 27, 1953) is an American campaign manager, businessman, and media executive.
He became chief executive officer of the 2016 presidential campaign of Donald Trump in August 2016. Bannon has been named chief strategist and Senior Counselor for the Presidency of Donald Trump.
Bannon was executive chair of Breitbart News, a conservative news, opinion and commentary website noted for its connection to the alternative right. He took a leave of absence from Breitbart in order to work for the campaign. In preparation for serving as chief strategist, he plans to resign from Breitbart.
Early life, family. and education
Stephen Kevin Bannon was born on November 27, 1953, in Norfolk, Virginia, into a working-class, Irish Catholic, pro-Kennedy, pro-union family of Democrats. He graduated from Virginia Tech in 1976 and holds a master’s degree in National Security Studies from Georgetown University. In 1983, Bannon received an M.B.A. degree with honors from Harvard Business School.
Bannon was an officer in the United States Navy for seven years in the late 1970s and early 1980s, serving on the destroyer USS Paul F. Foster as a Surface Warfare Officer in the Pacific Fleet and stateside as a special assistant to the Chief of Naval Operations at the Pentagon.
After his military service, Bannon worked at Goldman Sachs as an investment banker in the Mergers & Acquisitions Department. In 1990, Bannon and several colleagues from Goldman Sachs launched Bannon & Co., a boutique investment bank specializing in media. Through Bannon & Co., Bannon negotiated the sale of Castle Rock Entertainment to Ted Turner. As payment, Bannon & Co. accepted a financial stake in five television shows, including Seinfeld. Société Générale purchased Bannon & Co. in 1998.
In 1993, while still managing Bannon & Co., Bannon was made acting director of Earth-science research project Biosphere 2 in Oracle, Arizona. Under Bannon, the project shifted emphasis from researching space exploration and colonization toward pollution and global warming. He left the project in 1995.
After the sale of Bannon & Co., Bannon became an executive producer in the film and media industry in Hollywood, California. He was executive producer for Julie Taymor‘s 1999 film Titus. Bannon became a partner with entertainment industry executive Jeff Kwatinetz at The Firm, Inc., a film and television management company. In 2004, Bannon made a documentary about Ronald Reagan titled In the Face of Evil. Through the making and screening of this film, Bannon was introduced to Peter Schweizer and publisher Andrew Breitbart. He was involved in the financing and production of a number of films, including Fire from the Heartland: The Awakening of the Conservative Woman, The Undefeated (on Sarah Palin), and Occupy Unmasked. Bannon also hosts a radio show (Breitbart News Daily) on a Sirius XM satellite radio channel.
Bannon is also executive chair and co-founder of the Government Accountability Institute, where he helped orchestrate the publication of the book Clinton Cash. In 2015, Bannon was ranked No. 19 on Mediaite‘s list of the “25 Most Influential in Political News Media 2015”.
Bannon convinced Goldman Sachs to invest in a company known as Internet Gaming Entertainment. Following a lawsuit, the company rebranded as Affinity Media and Bannon took over as CEO. From 2007 through 2011, Bannon served as chair and CEO of Affinity Media.
Bannon became[when?] a member of the board of Breitbart News. In March 2012, after founder Andrew Breitbart’s death, Bannon became executive chair of Breitbart News LLC, the parent company of Breitbart News. Under his leadership, Breitbart took a more alt-right and nationalistic approach toward its agenda. Bannon declared the website “the platform for the alt-right” in 2016. Bannon identifies as a conservative. Speaking about his role at Breitbart, Bannon said: “We think of ourselves as virulently anti-establishment, particularly ‘anti-‘ the permanent political class.”
The New York Times described Breitbart News under Bannon’s leadership as a “curiosity of the fringe right wing”, with “ideologically-driven journalists”, that is a source of controversy “over material that has been called misogynist, xenophobic, and racist.” The newspaper also noted how Breitbart was now a “potent voice” for Donald Trump‘s presidential campaign.
Donald Trump campaign
On August 17, 2016, Bannon was appointed Chief Executive of Donald Trump‘s campaign to become President of the United States. He went on leave from Breitbart in order to take the new job.
On November 13, 2016, he was appointed chief strategist and senior counselor to President-elect Trump. This appointment drew strong opposition from the Anti-Defamation League, the Council on American–Islamic Relations, the Southern Poverty Law Center, other civil rights groups, prominent Democrats including Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, and some Republican strategists, because of statements in Breitbart News that they allege were racist or anti-Semitic. On the other hand, Ben Shapiro, Bernard Marcus of the Republican Jewish Coalition, the Zionist Organization of America, Shmuley Boteach, and David Horowitz. Alan Dershowitz described Bannon as a bigot but said there was no “compelling evidence” he was an anti-Semite. The ADL said “we are not aware of any anti-Semitic statements from Bannon”, while adding “under his stewardship, Breitbart has emerged as the leading source for the extreme views of a vocal minority who peddle bigotry and promote hate.”
On November 15, 2016, Rhode Island Representative David Cicilline released a letter to Trump signed by 169 Democratic House Representatives urging him to rescind his appointment of Bannon. The letter stated that appointing Bannon “sends a disturbing message about what kind of president Donald Trump wants to be.”
Bannon’s first marriage was to Cathleen Houff Jordan. They had a daughter, Maureen.Following their divorce, Bannon married former investment banker Mary Louise Piccard in April 1995. Their twin daughters were born three days later. After Piccard and Bannon divorced in 1997, Bannon married Diane Clohesy. That marriage also ended in divorce in 2009.
Bannon was charged with misdemeanor domestic violence, battery and dissuading a witness in early January 1996, after Piccard accused Bannon of domestic abuse. The charges were later dropped when his now ex-wife did not show up to court. During the divorce proceedings, Piccard also stated that Bannon had made antisemitic remarks about choice of schools, saying that he did not want to send his children to The Archer School for Girlsbecause there were too many Jews at the school and Jews raise their children to be “whiny brats”. Bannon’s spokesperson denied the accusation, noting that he had chosen to send both his children to the Archer School. Bannon’s association with the alt-right movement, along with his aforementioned alleged anti-Semitic remarks, have contributed to accusations of white nationalism from the Southern Poverty Law Center and other advocacy groups, commentators, and Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid. Bannon denies the characterization, telling the Hollywood Reporter, “I’m not a white nationalist, I’m a nationalist. I’m an economic nationalist.”
- The Indian Runner (1991)
- Titus (1999)
- In the Face of Evil: Reagan’s War in Word and Deed (2004)
- Cochise County USA: Cries from the Border (2005)
- Border War: The Battle Over Illegal Immigration (2006)
- The Chaos Experiment (2009)
- Generation Zero (2010)
- Battle for America (2010)
- Fire from the Heartland: The Awakening of the Conservative Woman (2010)
- Still Point in a Turning World: Ronald Reagan and His Ranch (2011)
- The Undefeated (2011)
- Occupy Unmasked (2012)
- The Hope & The Change (2012)
- District of Corruption (2012)
- Sweetwater (2013)
- Rickover: The Birth of Nuclear Power (2014)
- The Last 600 Meters (2015)
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‘We’re [i.e., Breitbart News is] the platform for the alt-right,’ Bannon told me proudly when I interviewed him at the Republican National Convention (RNC) in July.
- See, e.g.:
- Eli Stokols (October 13, 2016). “Trump fires up the alt-right”. Politico.
… the unmistakable imprint of Breitbart News, the ‘alt-right’ website…
- Staff (October 1, 2016). “The rise of the alt-right”. The Week.
Another major alt-right platform is Breitbart.com, a right-wing news site…
- Will Rahn (August 19, 2016). “Steve Bannon and the alt-right: a primer”. CBS News.
Bannon’s Breitbart distinguished itself from the rest of the conservative media in two significant ways this cycle… The second was through their embrace of the alt-right…
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Breitbart News, declared ‘the platform for the alt-right’ last month by then-chair, Steve Bannon.
- Callum Borchers (November 15, 2016). “‘Can you name one white nationalist article at Breitbart?’ Challenge accepted!”. The Washington Post.
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A white nationalist movement known as the alt-right met in Washington DC this weekend
- Justin Wm. Moyer (November 21, 2016). “D.C. restaurant apologizes after hosting alt-right dinner with ‘Sieg Heil salute'”. The Washington Post.
A restaurant in Northwest Washington issued an apology Monday after hosting an alt-right, white nationalist event whose participants offered praise of Adolf Hitler.
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If established Hollywood conservatives welcome the energy of this new group, some nonetheless fear that it is heading down the wrong path. … Even the outspoken Mr. Bannon thinks that little will be gained if conservative ideology moves too far in front of conservative art. ‘We have the money, we have the ideas,’ he said. ‘What we don’t have – and what the left has in spades – are great filmmakers.’
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Media related to Steve Bannon at Wikimedia Commons
Title last held by
|Counselor to the President
Taking office 2017