Here's What 13 Famous CEOs Looked Like In High School

Even the world’s most famous leaders had to
start somewhere.
In high school, many of today’s top CEOs were athletes. Others were known for being nerdy and incredibly bright. Not surprisingly, most were considered hard workers and many were already laying the foundations for their future businesses.

We combed through old high school yearbooks to find photos of some of the most respected CEOs in business. You might recognise some of them, but others are disguised by long hair or a lack thereof.

And if you guessed Steve Jobs for the image above — good job. You’re right.

Bill Ackman circa 1984

Pershing Square Capital Management's CEO attended Horace Greeley High School in his wealthy hometown of Chappaqua, N.Y.

Ackman was a member of the National Honour Society and a self admitted 'cocky kid.' During his junior year, Ackman bet his father $US2,000 (all of his Bar Mitzvah money) that he would get a perfect 800 on the verbal portion of the S.A.T.

Steve Ballmer circa 1972

In his freshman year of high school, Ballmer won a scholarship to Detroit Country Day School, a private and rigorous high school. When he first arrived at the new school, the future Microsoft CEO was a full year behind in maths coursework, the New York Times reported.

It didn't take Ballmer long to catch up, though. He soon exceeded his peers, and enrolled in college-level maths classes at night. He also was a member of the track team, mainly competing in shot put while also running an occasional quarter-mile.

Lloyd Blankfein circa 1971

Goldman Sach's chairman and CEO grew up in Brooklyn, where he attended Thomas Jefferson High School. He graduated in 1971 as the class valedictorian.

According to the school's 1971 yearbook, Blankfein was a member of the varsity swimming team (he swam the 400-yard freestyle for the relay team) and captain of the 'It's Academic' team for two years.

Warren Buffett circa 1947

It turns out that Buffett knew his strengths even as a senior at Woodrow Wilson High School in Washington, D.C.

In his senior yearbook, the billionaire and Berkshire Hathaway CEO is described as a sportsman (basketball and golf), a maths lover, and a 'future stock broker.' Either he or the yearbook editors were pretty on point with that one.

Tim Cook circa 1975

At his town high school in Robertsdale, Ala., the Apple CEO was known for his work ethic. He was voted 'most studious' in both his freshman and sophomore years.

Other yearbook photos reveal that Cook was once a winner in the 'optimist oratorical contest' (he got a trophy for his efforts) and a member of the school's yearbook staff.

Bill Gates circa 1973

The Microsoft founder and chairman graduated from Lakeside School, a private school in Seattle, in 1973. He has said he 'can directly trace the founding of Microsoft' to his days there.

When Gates arrived at Lakeside in the late 1960s, the school had a computer terminal. What's more, they let students use it. 'Instead of teaching us about computers in the conventional sense, Lakeside just unleashed us,' Gates said.

Bob Iger circa 1967

Growing up on Long Island, N.Y., the Walt Disney CEO attended Oceanside High School and graduated in 1969.

While there, he was voted the 'most enthusiastic' and the 'friendliest' member of his class, according to the New York Times. He also served as sports editor of his high school newspaper and went on to study communications and media in college.

Steve Jobs circa 1972

Apple's famous co-founder and CEO might not have met his other co-founder, Steve Wozniak, if he hadn't attended Homestead High School in Cupertino, Calif.

Wozniak was in college and Jobs in high school when a mutual friend and classmate of Jobs' introduced the pair. 'We both loved electronics,' Wozniak told ABC News. 'We both had pretty much sort of an independent attitude about things in the world, we were both smart enough to think things up for ourselves.'

Sallie Krawcheck circa 1983

During her senior year of high school, the CEO of women's network 85 Broads and former Bank of America division president was named homecoming queen.

Krawcheck was involved with tons of clubs and activities at the Porter-Gaud School in Charleston, S.C. She was a member of the basketball and track teams, a varsity cheerleader, National Honour Society inductee, and spent four years as part of the school's 'Rowdy Club.'

Marissa Mayer circa 1993

Before she took the helm of Yahoo, Mayer attended Wausau West High School in Wisconsin, where she participated on the state championship-winning debate team.

During her time there, she was known for grabbing a quick lunch and then heading to study in the library or science lab. One of her classmates previously told Business Insider that she remembers Mayer as 'in school, books in hand, walking down the hallway to do something else.'

Brian Moynihan circa 1977

Bank of America's CEO went to Marietta High School in Marietta, Ohio, where he was known for his speed and competitive drive.

His senior year, he was named outstanding male runner, and he played three other sports as well. 'He was an average athlete, but he was a competitor,'' his high school basketball coach, Ed Paxton, told the Boston Globe. 'He worked very hard.''

Alan Mulally circa 1963

At Lawrence High School in Lawrence, Kan., the Ford CEO was a member of the gymnastics team.

During Mulally's senior year, in 1963, Lawrence High School took second in the state gymnastics meet in Wichita, according to the school's yearbook. Mulally also placed individually, taking second on the horizontal bar.

Mark Zuckerberg circa 2002

Zuckerberg is best known for starting Facebook while attending college at Harvard. Before that, though, he went to high school at Phillips Exeter Academy, a private school in New Hampshire.

At Exeter, Zuckerberg pursued his love of maths and computer science, according to the school's website. He founded Facebook just two years after graduating and heading to college.

Now see what they were doing a few years later:

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