“The historical aspects became very real,” he says, “and I found them thoroughly fascinating.”
After Harvard, Mead continued to feed his intellectual interests at Cambridge University in England, where he studied on a fellowship.
Mead was also a nationally ranked squash player and an avid photographer. His multiple talents and “magnetic charm” earned him a wide social network, according to Flanders.
“He seemed to know everybody,” Flanders says.
Through squash, Mead met legendary Harvard squash and tennis coach Jack Barnaby ’32, whom Mead calls “foremost a psychologist and philosopher, then athlete.”
Mead says Barnaby’s guidance allowed him to play squash with a perseverance he applies to all areas of life.
Flanders says that during one match at Princeton, Mead’s hefty opponent intentionally hit him with the ball.
“He hit him right back and went on to win the match,” recalls Flanders. “He didn’t let the larger kid get him.”
Mead pursued his interest in photography starting his first semester at Harvard when he took an advanced course.
He says that he and friends would occasionally wake up at 4 a.m. to drive to New York City for art shows, and then return in the afternoon just in time for class or practice.
“He was phenomenally talented and was a very visual thinking person,” says Goodfell. “He continues to exercise that creativity as an investment banker.”
Mead arrived in London in 1988 to pioneer Goldman Sachs’ European banking business.