vision 2020

A Yearbook of the 2020 Presidential Candidates

Can you predict the future by looking at the past? In the yearbooks of some declared and likely major-party presidential candidates, we found a debate champion, varsity athletes, student-government leaders, and a few very enthusiastic music fans (no, we don’t just mean Beto O’Rourke). Here’s a yearbook for the class of 2020.

Joe Biden

Class of 1961

Photo: Courtesy of Archmere Academy

Born in Pennsylvania, he graduated from Catholic prep school Archmere Academy in Claymont, Delaware.

Cory Booker

Class of 1987

Photo: via classmates

Nicknamed “Sugar,” Booker was a varsity football player at Northern Valley Regional High School in Old Tappan, New Jersey.

Pete Buttigieg

Class of 2000

Photo: Courtesy of South Bend Tribune

“Mayor Pete” started his political career as class president of South Bend, Indiana’s St. Joseph High School.

Julián Castro

Class of 1992

Photo: Courtesy of Kolten Parker

Castro posed with a very ’90s backdrop at San Antonio’s Thomas Jefferson High School 17 years before he became mayor.

Kirsten Gillibrand

Class of 1984

Photo: via classmates

The future senator, pictured  as a sophomore in 1982, would graduate from the Emma Willard School in Troy, New York.

Kamala Harris

Class of 1981

Photo: Courtesy of John Dila

At Westmount High near Montreal, she remembered long-distance phone calls (she’s a California native) and “dancing with super six.” Farewell quote? “Be cool MA YA!”

John Hickenlooper

Class of 1970

Photo: via classmates

“Often seen with a far-away look on his face listening to Neil Young,” begins his year­book entry from Pennsylvania’s Haverford School.

Jay Inslee

Class of 1969

Photo: via classmates

At Seattle’s Ingraham High School, he played for the state-champion basketball team and was also a quarterback. And he met his future wife, Trudi, there.

Amy Klobuchar

Class of 1978

Photo: Courtesy of Wayzata High School

The Minnesota native was the valedictorian of Wayzata High School in Plymouth, where she was also class secretary and treasurer.

Beto O’Rourke

Class of 1991

Photo: Courtesy of Woodberry Forest School

O’Rourke, at Virginia’s Woodberry Forest School, quoted hardcore band Rites of Spring: “Now I’m the angry son  /  Everything I’ve learned was wrong.”

Bernie Sanders

Class of 1959

Brooklyn’s James Madison High School listed “Bernard” Sanders as the captain of the track and cross-country teams.

Donald Trump

Class of 1964

Photo: via classmates

The president’s yearbook from New York Military Academy in Cornwall boasts that he played seven sports and participated in “driver education club.”

Elizabeth Warren

Class of 1966

Photo: via classmates

Her hobbies included student council, “great books club,” Latin Club, and aeronautics club at Oklahoma City’s Northwest Classen High.

Marianne Williamson

Class of 1970

Photo: via classmates

The spiritual guru and author may have never held political office, but she was on the student council at Bellaire High School in Texas.

Andrew Yang

Class of 1992

Photo: Phillips Exeter Academy

The entrepreneur looked cool on campus at Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire.

Meet the Class of 2020’s Overachievers

Here’s one popular vote Trump did win. Photo: via classmates
“The Hick” (Hickenlooper, back row, third from the left) was honored for his academic achievements. His heroes? “Neil Young, Ray Davis, Gordie Howe.” His pet peeves? “Violence, beer boys.” Photo: via classmates
Williamson (third from the top) served as her class secretary. Her student-council photo could’ve doubled as folk-album cover art. Photo: via classmates
Klobuchar (seated, second from the left) was photographed with her fellow senior-class officers in a yearbook entry foretelling her presidential ambitions. Photo: Courtesy of Center for Public Integrity
Debater Warren (née Herring) was “in the habit of collecting trophies.” Photo: via classmates

*This article appears in the April 1, 2019, issue of New York Magazine. Subscribe Now!

A Yearbook of the 2020 Presidential Candidates