John Fish is the chief executive of Suffolk Construction Co and one of Boston’s leading advocates for the city’s bid for hosting the 2024 Olympic Games.

By third grade, Fish still struggled with reading. Spelling was impossible for him and he claims he could barely write. His teachers, parents, and even Fish himself originally thought he just wasn’t an intelligent kid. It wasn’t until Fish was in fifth grade that he was diagnosed with severe dyslexia. In an interview with The Boston Globe, Fish said his dyslexia defined him, and admitted “people thought I couldn’t do what normal people could because I was dumb.” After Fish was officially diagnosed with dyslexia, he refused to see the diagnosis as yet another struggle for him, but chose to see it as both a liberation and incentive. He knew then that he wasn’t simply just lacking in intelligence, but had just as much potential to succeed as the other kids too, and that motivated him to work harder than everyone else.

Armed with the new knowledge of his learning disability, Fish went through the rest of his education with a firm determination to succeed. He memorized lessons and spent hours longer than most in the library in order to learn material. Even as head of Suffolk Construction Co., Fish would sometimes get to the office as early as 4:30am in order to work towards the success of the company.

Today, Fish continues to sit at the head of Suffolk Construction Co., which takes in $2 billion in revenue every year and is the largest construction firm in Boston. He has gained the reputation of being a fierce competitor in his field, something he admits grew out of his early academic drive to excel in school despite his dyslexia. Fish also hopes to use the same incredible work ethic he uses in his career now to help lead Boston’s 2024 Olympic Game bid.

Read more about John Fish and his story here.