Stephen Kevin Bannon was born on November 27, 1953, in Norfolk, Virginia, and raised in nearby Richmond. The third of five children born to parents Doris and Martin, a telephone lineman, he later referred to his household as a “blue-collar, Irish Catholic, pro-Kennedy, pro-union family of Democrats.”
Bannon attended the all-boys’ Benedictine High School and then Virginia Tech, where he showed a penchant for disrupting the political status quo by winning a heated race for student body president as a junior.
After graduating in 1976 he moved on to the Navy, serving as an auxiliary engineer and a navigator. He later became a special assistant to the chief of naval operations at the Pentagon, and earned his master’s degree in national security studies through nighttime classes at Georgetown University.