TEXAS senator Ted Cruz looks completely unrecognizable in his yearbook picture that was taken decades before he launched a bid for the White House.
The then fresh-faced 17-year-old said he wanted to pursue a career in politics and had aspirations of becoming the president.
A biographical note from his yearbook said: “Upon graduation, Ted hopes to attend Princeton University and major in Political Science and Economics.
“From there he wants to attend law school (possibly Harvard) and achieve a successful law practice.”
Cruz, who went to a Bible-centric private school in Houston, revealed his political aspirations, particularly his goal to one day run for the Oval Office.
In a 1988 clip that resurfaced during his failed 2016 bid for the White House, Cruz said: “Aspirations” Is that like sweat on my butt?
“Well, my aspiration is to, I don’t know, be in a teen t** film like that guy who played Horatio – you know he was in Malibu Bikini Beach Shop?
“Well other than that, take over the world. World domination. Yeah, rule everything. Rich, powerful that sort of stuff.”
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In his 2015 autobiography “A Time for a Truth”, Cruz said that he was fed up with being a nerd while in school.
The book also claimed that he was suspended from high school for several days for going to a party, drinking, and smoking pot, according to The Guardian.
But, Cruz played football, soccer, and basketball and was twice class president.
John Fuex, who was a year below Cruz, said: “He was very well-liked by the teachers and his classmates and was generally considered a prodigy.”
And, English teacher Elsa Jean Looser said that he was a “dream student”.
She added: “We all knew he had political ambitions simply because of the direction he was taking.”
Cruz's legal name is Rafael Edward Cruz after his father.
In his book, he admitted that he chose to stop going by Rafael when he was 13 years old.
He commonly went by the nickname Felito.
Cruz wrote: “The problem with that name was that it seemed to rhyme with every major corn chip on the market. Fritos, Cheetos, Doritos, and Tostitos—a fact that other young children were quite happy to point out.
“I was tired of being teased. One day I had a conversation with my mother about it and she said, ‘You know, you could change your name. There are a number of other possibilities."
His mother listed several options including Raph, Ralph, Edward, Eddie and Ted.
Cruz said: "I found that a shocking concept. It had never occurred to me that I had any input on my name.”
He graduated from Princeton University in 1992 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in public policy.
Cruz was awarded the top speaker at the 1992 US National Debating Championship and the North American Debating Championship before being named National Speaker of the Year.
He represented Harvard Law School at the 1995 World Debating Championship.
Cruz also served as Solicitor General between 2003 to 2008 and ran as a Tea Party candidate during the 2012 Republican Primary before being elected to the Senate.
He was the first Hispanic American to serve as a US Senator from Texas.
The politician contested the 2016 Republican primary where he ultimately lost out to Donald Trump in the race for the GOP nomination.
The race was marred by a series of personal attacks as the two candidates squared off each against each other.
Months before Trump became president, Cruz branded the brash New Yorker as a “pathological liar” and said the tycoon couldn’t be trusted in the White House, the BBC reports.
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