Steve Bannon’s departure from his Breitbart News comes at the end of a tumultuous week for President Trump’s former adviser, and as the latest step in a career that has transformed him into remarkably different figures.
The 64-year-old left the far-right outlet on Tuesday, five months after he was ousted from the White House that he tried to reshape into his ideological mold.
It remains unclear what Bannon will do next, with recent reports suggesting that he may have been eyeing a presidential run himself in 2020.
That would be the latest in repeated jumps for the Virginia native who began his career as a naval officer before undertaking what the first profile of him, in Bloomberg Businessweek, called “a succession of Gatsbyish reinventions.”
He achieved the rank of lieutenant and had a coveted post at the Pentagon that could have led to greater promotion, and it is not clear why he left.
Bannon made his first career leap into the world of 1980s investment banking after attending Harvard Business School.
One of his most popular epithets is now “former Goldman Sachs banker” for the five years he spent at the financial giant.
Bannon rose to national prominence at Breibart News, which he has now left.
(Paul Marotta/Getty Images for SiriusXM)
Not much is known about his early time there, though a 1987 move to the West Coast to work in film financing would pave the way for the rest of his career as it immersed him in the worlds of Hollywood and media.
He later started his own company and his page on IMDB lists him as the executive producer of mainstream feature films including 1991’s “Indian Runner” and 1999’s “Titus.”
Neither of which made a box office splash, leading George Clooney to call him a “failed f—ing screenwriter” for another project.
Bannon sold his company and had stints with French bank Société Générale and investment bank Jeffries while continuing to exist as a La La Land figure and involving himself in a bizarre “biosphere” project in Arizona, according to a New Yorker profile of his time in Southern California.
His career as a conservative media figure is supported by that sale as well as his role in the sale of Castle Rock Entertainment, the company behind “Seinfeld,” which is expected to have netted him millions in royalties.
Free to choose his own meandering path, Bannon then delved into conservative movies, including several with Citizens United, while bouncing between other ventures such as the film distribution company Genius Products, which went bankrupt.
Those close to Bannon have reportedly denied that he is planning a run for president.
His work with films led to speaking gigs at Tea Party events, which ultimately connected him to Andrew Breitbart and the powerful conservative Mercer family, which brought him to Breitbart News and made him chairman in 2012 after the death of its namesake, according to the New Yorker.
That role would ultimately launch him into the political spotlight as Breitbart catered to the far-right and advanced racist and misogynistic viewpoints such as having a “black crime” section.
His arrival in the Trump campaign and White House in 2016 brought him close to the seat of real power, though it is unknown if his departure from the administration in August was the beginning of the end of his influence.
He suffered a defeat in backing accused child molester Roy Moore in his failed attempt at the Alabama Senate seat, and was pushed into an apology after being quoted saying that Donald Trump Jr.’s meeting with Russians in Trump Tower and not telling the FBI could be “treasonous” in the explosive insider book “Fire and Fury.”
The Mercer family has publicly distanced itself from Bannon and reportedly stopped funding his causes, which was trumpeted by the President on his Twitter account as he criticized “Sloppy Steve.”
Bannon had reportedly also said he could count on the Mercer’s support if he himself launched a presidential bid, though those close to the now-former Breitbart chief have been quoted in multiple reports saying he is not running.