February 3, 2017 1:11 PM EST

Steve Bannon has had an unusual path to working in the White House.

After growing up in a working-class Irish Catholic Democratic family in Virginia, Bannon served in the U.S. Navy, worked as an investment banker at Goldman Sachs, produced movies and ran the the conservative website Breitbart News before going to work for Trump’s campaign.

A recent TIME cover story asked if Bannon is “the second most powerful man in the world” for the role he has played since Trump moved into the Oval Office.

In his job as a strategist for President Trump, Bannon helped draft the uncharacteristically dark inaugural address, pushed the controversial travel ban, criticized the mainstream media and negotiated a standing invitation to the National Security Council.

He’s also faced criticism, both from grassroots liberals online as well as Democratic leaders.

See a gallery of rare photographs of Steve Bannon’s life.

Contact us at letters@time.com.

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