Presented By
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush speaks at the National Automobile Dealers Association convention in San Francisco, Jan. 23, 2015.
Jeff Chiu—AP

Jeb Bush has dipped in and out of politics his whole life, serving as a two-term governor and more recently announcing a possible presidential bid in 2016. But as a student at an elite boarding school in Massachusetts, he was decidedly apolitical.

In an in-depth report in the Boston Globe, classmates remember the son of Congressman George Bush Sr. as indifferent and detached. Jeb Bush refused to join the Progressive Andover Republicans club at Phillips Academy in Andover, and declined to discuss politics, reports the Boston Globe. He also indulged in drugs and drinking.

“I drank alcohol and I smoked marijuana when I was at Andover,” Bush said of his high school years, both of which could have led to expulsion. “It was pretty common.”

Bush’s grades were so poor that he was nearly expelled, and the possible 2016 presidential candidate remembers his boarding school experience as one of the most difficult times of his life, the Globe reports.

While other students “were constantly arguing about politics and particularly Vietnam, he just wasn’t interested, he didn’t participate, he didn’t care,” said Phil Sylvester, who said he was a Bush roommate for the early part of 10th grade.

Still, Bush, who went on to the University of Texas and was later named Florida’s Secretary of Commerce calls Andover Academy the place where “I learned how to think.”

Read more at the Boston Globe.


More Must-Reads From TIME

Contact us at

You May Also Like