John Fish ’82 on Dyslexia and His Boston Construction Empire (Boston Globe)

John Fish '82

John Fish ’82

For the first part of his life, John Fish ’82 was “the little boy who couldn’t,” held back by others’ (and increasingly, his own) misinterpretation of his dyslexia as a lack of intelligence. When he was diagnosed, it set him free — throughout the rest of his educational journey, he was diligent and determined to succeed, even though he knew it would take more time and hard work for him than for everyone else. Since then, he has been at the forefront of Suffolk Construction Company, serving as chief executive — the fourth generation in his family to work in the construction industry.

Suffolk is Boston’s biggest construction firm, bringing in more than $2 billion in revenue annually. Since the company began, Fish’s business style has changed from the fight and fire that got him through school (and caused heated disputes in the construction world) to one based on lasting partnerships that have taken him through many projects — and on to a bid for Boston as the host of the 2024 Olympics. Read more from The Boston Globe.


  1. Tom Sheehy '69 says:

    I taught John at Tabor and he was one of my proctors in Bushnell House in his senior year. I was always in awe of his work ethic. He was diligent in US History and I may have even taught him in a senior history elective. I did write a recommendation for him to Bowdoin and was thrilled when he gained acceptance. I was not surprised and quite proud that such a hard working young man and natural leader would want to attend my alma mater.
    I am not shocked that he has become such a success as a businessman, citizen of Boston and loyal supporter of his educational communities. My sincere good wishes as he continues his journey.

  2. Ward O'Neill '60 says:

    Tom Sheehy’s comments about John Fish being his student at Tabor Academy prompted me to write this about Tom, who has been Headmaster at Canterbury School in New Milford, CT for many years. I graduated from Canterbury in 1956 and have stayed very close to the School since then. Tom’s expertise and foresight(with the continuing support of his wife, Betsy) in what can be a very difficult and demanding position has made Canterbury a truly outstanding institution. One more Bowdoin success story!

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