With his Hollywood good looks and Ivy League degrees, Mitt Romney is one of America's most prominent politicians, famous for being Mormon, moderate, and extremely successful in different walks of life. He began his career in business though, first working for a management consulting company, then launching his own investment firm that would later turn him a multimillionaire.

In 1999, the photogenic Romney stepped into the national spotlight when he rescued the 2002 Winter Olympic Games from financial and ethical woes. That same year Romney, a Republican, was rewarded with the governorship of Massachusetts. After that, Romney's political career hit some snags when he came up short in two different presidential races, but he later claimed a seat in the Senate, where he now helps lead the state of Utah. Over the years, Romney has been involved in various charities and civic groups including the Boy Scouts, City Year, and the Points of Light Foundation. In addition, he's received honorary doctorates from several universities, such as the University of Utah and Southern Virginia University.

Become a Subscriber

Please purchase a subscription to continue reading this article.

Subscribe Now

From an early age, Romney wanted to pursue a business career, but his father lobbied for his son to pursue a law degree. So, in 1971 the future senator enrolled in Harvard's recently created dual-degree program in law and business. Right from the start he stood out from the rest of his classmates. He was older, having already spent two years in France doing missionary work, and he already had a wife and children. But more than that, Romney was known for his ferocious study habits, unusual optimism, and strength of character, leading one of his classmates to describe him as a, "Boy Scout thrown into the middle of a late Vietnam War campus." For his struggles, Romney graduated in 1975 cum laude from the law school and was named a Baker Scholar for graduating in the top five percent of his business school class.

Since leaving the Cambridge campus as a student, Romney has repeatedly returned over the years as a benefactor. In 2015, he joined the Dean of the Harvard Law School during a public question and answer session on a wide range of topics. After emphasizing the importance of work experience in the private sector, Romney warned students and faculty on the dangers of divisiveness in the current political landscape. He explained that this was largely due to the fact that American citizens no longer get the same news information. "Thirty, forty years ago, there were three networks, three news programs, and we all watched an hour of evening news. We also got our news from a certain number of newspapers ...we had the same foundation in terms of information," he said.

In 2003 and 2011 he made similar visits to Harvard, often weaving in personal stories with life lessons, and thus strengthening his already very strong connection to the university. Indeed, three of his children have attended Harvard Business School. And according to IRS filings, so far Romney has donated at least $80,000 to Harvard Business School, which has always been a comfort zone for the political luminary.