Who is the Anti-Woke Vivek Ramaswamy?

Who Is He?
Vivek Ramaswamy is a biotech millionaire running against Trump. He is a former Harvard rapper and son of Indian immigrants who is campaigning largely on anti-woke ideals and principles. He was educated at both Harvard and Yale and is living the American dream. Vivek Ramaswamy was a regular commentator on Fox News before announcing his candidacy for President on February 21. He is the author of three books that center around anti-woke ideals and principles, “Woke, Inc.,” “Nation of Victims,” and “Capitalist Punishment.”

Vivek Ramaswamy doesn’t have a background in politics, but neither did Trump. That never stopped these two men for announcing for the most revered seat in the country.

Mr. Ramaswamy was born and raised in Ohio after his parents immigrated from Kerala, India. He was born in 1985. Though born into a traditional Hindu family, he attended a Catholic high school. He was a top graduate at St. Xavier High School, a Jesuit high school just outside of Cincinatti. Here, he celebrated not only academic success, but also success as a nationally ranked tennis player. An accomplished pianist, his volunteer work included playing the piano for Alzheimer’s patients. His high school successes launched him into the Ivy Leagues.

His Education and Short-Lived Rapper Career
He attended Harvard College, earning a degree in biology with Summa Cum Laude honors. During his time at Harvard, he was the chair of the university’s political union. The summary of his senior thesis on the ethics of creating human-animal chimeras was published in the New York Times.

At Harvard, Mr. Ramaswamy would dress entirely in black and take to the stage as his rapper alter ego “Da Vek” during his college days, according to The Harvard Crimson.

The student publication said he rapped “libertarian prose with the utmost of ease.”

In an interview with the publication in 2006, Ramaswamy also said that Eminem’s “Lose Yourself” was his life’s theme song.


His Mind for Business
In 2007, Ramaswamy co-founded StudentBusinesses.com, a resource for college-age entrepreneurs. It was acquired by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation in 2009.

He worked at QVT Financial, a Wall Street hedge fund manager, from 2007 to 2014.

Successful trades and his knowledge of the potential of certain drugs quickly impressed his bosses, leading to Ramaswamy becoming a partner at just 28 years old.

While working at QVT Financial, Ramaswamy attended Yale Law School for “the intellectual experience,” a former professor of his told Forbes.

At Yale, he became friends with J.D. Vance, the “Hillbilly Elegy” author turned senator for Ohio. He also met his future wife, Apoorva, with whom he now has two children. They got married in 2015.

He decided to leave QVT Financial to set up Roivant, his pharmaceutical venture, in 2014.

Ramaswamy raised approximately $93 million from investors, among them his former employer.

Ramaswamy would later be named by Forbes as one of America’s richest entrepreneurs under 40, and would make it onto the publication’s prestigious 30 under 30 list.


His Bestselling Books
In August 2021, Ramaswamy released a book, “Woke Inc,” which became a New York Times bestseller.

The book slammed the so-called “modern woke-industrial complex,” which Ramaswamy describes as the mixing of morality with consumerism.

He released another book in September 2022, “Nation of Victims: Identity Politics, the Death of Merit, and the Path Back to Excellence,” which was a critique of identity politics in America.

His Announcement
Ramaswamy announced that he’s running for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination on February 21, 2023, while appearing on “Tucker Carlson Tonight.”

He said in a Wall Street Journal opinion piece that by running he was hoping to launch a “cultural movement to create a new American dream” based on the “pursuit of excellence.”


Business Insider, New York Times, and Forbes contributed to this article.