Milo Yiannopoulos has resigned from Breitbart News following the release of a video on which Yiannopoulos appears to defend adult men having sexual relations with 13-year-old boys. Simon and Schuster also canceled the release of Yiannopoulos’s upcoming book in reaction to this video.
Yiannopoulos rose to prominence partly as a result of the 2014 GamerGate controversy, which he wrote about extensively for his website The Kernel. He later associated himself with the alt-right movement and with the political campaign of Donald Trump. Yiannopoulos is a self-described provocateur who frequently makes intentionally outrageous statements in order to draw attention to himself or to troll those on the left. He was banned from Twitter in July 2016 after harassing comedian Leslie Jones.
Over the past several months, Yiannopoulos’ visits to college campuses have sparked protests and riots. Yiannopoulos himself attended college but did not graduate, and he has said that one does not necessarily need a college degree to be successful but that he still does not recommend dropping out of school like he did.
Here’s what you need to know about Milo Yiannopoulos and his education.
1. He Attended Simon Langton Grammar School for Boys
Milo Yiannopoulos was born and raised in Kent, a county in South East England.
He went to high school at Simon Langton Grammar School for Boys, which is located in Kent. This is an all-boys school for years seven through 11, although the sixth form is coeducational.
In November 2016, Yiannopoulos was scheduled to give a talk at Simon Langton Grammar School for Boys, but the event was canceled after the United Kingdom Department of Education’s Counter Extremism Unit consulted with the school and warned them about the threat of demonstrations.
Yiannopoulos said on Facebook at the time, “My old high school has been bullied into canceling my talk on Tuesday by the ‘counter-extremism’ unit at the U.K. Department of Education. Who even knew the DoE had a counter-extremism unit? And that it wasn’t set up to combat terrorism but rather to punish gays with the wrong opinions?”
2. He Attended the University of Manchester But Did Not Graduate
After graduating from the Simon Langton Grammar School for Boys, Milo Yiannopoulos enrolled in the University of Manchester in Manchester, England.
Yiannopoulos’ first choice for college was Cambridge, but he says that he “screwed up my A-levels” and as a result had to go to his second choice, the University of Manchester, according to an article he wrote for The Tab.
Yiannopoulos also says that he was very depressed at Manchester and that he gave up on studying and spent much of his time partying.
“Truth be told, I have no idea whether I was ever officially sent down from there,” Yiannopoulos said. “Maybe they’re still expecting me to wander back in one afternoon smelling faintly of cigarettes and sick. I mean, I doubt it.”
3. He Attended Wolfson College But Did Not Graduate
After dropping out of the University of Manchester, Yiannopoulos attended Wolfson College in Cambridge, England. While at Wolfson, he studied English Literature. He was thrown out of the school after two years.
Yiannopoulos said in 2015 that when he was invited to speak at Cambridge, it was was a nice ‘screw-you’ towards Wolfson, the school that “threw me out after repeated warnings for the ridiculously trivial reason that I didn’t show up to supervisions, didn’t submit any essays and spent most of my time shagging and drinking instead of reading medieval literature.”
In a 2012 interview with Forbes, Yiannopoulos said that he does not feel good about not having graduated college and that he may finish his degree one day.
“I try to tell myself I’m in good company, but ultimately it doesn’t say great things about you unless you go on to terrific success in your own right – which, in my case, remains to to be seen,” he said. “I may go back to Cambridge at some point. I know I should. But it’s hard when you’re approaching 30 and building a company and traveling all over the world and doing TV and all the other stuff people say you get your degree to be in with a chance of achieving to pull the plug and go back to writing essays about representations of addiction in Marlovian anti-heroes.”
4. He Says ‘You Don’t Need a Degree to Succeed’
Although Yiannopoulos told Forbes in 2012 that it does not reflect well on him that he doesn’t have a college degree, he later revised this statement and said that one does not necessarily need a degree to succeed.
“The dirty secret of professional and personal success is it has a lot more to do with your God-given assets than it does how hard you studied at uni or where you went,” he said. “Like, I don’t mean to show off but I get a lot of compliments. Growing up I never thought I was all that but apparently I push enough people’s buttons to be ‘hot,’ so, cool. And that, more than anything, is what has opened doors for me in life.”
He went on to say, though, that he does not advise anyone to drop out of school.
“You’re unlikely to end up like me or Steve Jobs, at the top of our professional game just a few years into our twenties despite the lack of a degree,” he said. “More probable is you’ll end up a flipper at BK or delivering Domino’s while you work on ‘the novel.'”
5. He Has Spoken on Many College Campuses, Sparking Protests
In late 2015, Yiannopoulos began a tour of college campuses around Great Britain and the United States. Many of these speeches ended up being canceled, and the ones that were not were met with large protests.
Most famously, Yiannopoulos was scheduled to deliver a speech at UC Berkeley in February 2017, but after violent demonstrations broke out on campus, the university decided to cancel the event. This was a big enough story that the president of the United States tweeted about it; Trump said on Twitter that if UC Berkeley does not allow free speech on campus, they might not receive federal funds any longer.