Gary Cohn, a U.S. Steel worker, hopped in a cab with a Wall Street broker on a Friday afternoon, and by Monday morning, had a job as an options trader. Years earlier, if you had asked him what his aspirations were he would have said “to graduate high school”, which was a gruesome challenge for the now President of Goldman Sachs. This Wall Street titan suffers from severe dyslexia, and went through his academic life well acquainted with trials, such as being expelled from elementary school, having difficulty in reading and writing, and poor grades.

In elementary school, Cohn was held back for a year because of his poor reading, but according to Cohn, the extra year didn’t help. His undiagnosed dyslexia made focusing on school work difficult for the young student, and Cohn often had behavioral issues because of his frustration and inability to reflect his work ethic in his grades. In his attempts to learn, Cohn often came across as disruptive in the classroom and teachers continually struggled to control him. Cohn admitted that getting all the way through high school was a major concern for him, and was often told he would never make it. At one point he was even told he would be a truck driver when he got older.

Despite what Cohn refers to as his “ugly days”, he did end up with a high school diploma. He then went on to graduate from American University and began working for U.S. Steel as an aluminum siding salesman. It was during this period of his life when Cohn impulsively decided to hop in a cab with a Wall Street executive and talk his way into a job. Determined to prove himself, and armed with years of strengths he had acquired because of his dyslexia, he eventually became the president of Goldman Sachs, despite the pessimism from his teachers and peers.

To learn more about Gary Cohn’s success, visit a Business Insider’s article on him here [1].