10 High School Dropouts That Became Billionaires


The words “high school dropout” are often considered synonymous with failure and poverty.


Many dropout struggled to find consistent work or get into prestigious colleges

but this formula doesn’t apply to everyone with enough hard work and determination.

Today we are looking at high school dropouts that became billionaires on our list of

10 High School Dropouts That Became Billionaires.

10. Walt Disney

Walt Disney is perhaps the most revered animator in the history of the world,

his cartoons revolutionized the film industry and made animation viable commercial pursuit. 

As a film producer, Disney holds the record for most academy awards earned by an individual,

having 122 Oscars from 59 nominations but many fans are shocked to learn that the Chicago native was a high school dropout. In 1918 while still in high school,

Disney began taking night courses at the Academy of fine arts in Chicago. Disney dropped out of high school at age 16 to join the army and because he was too young to enlist,

he joined the Red Cross with a forge birth certificate instead. 


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Disney was sent to France where he drove an ambulance that was covered from top to bottom cartoons but eventually became his film characters,

of course we all know that Disney’s characters like Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck are now some of the most iconic cartoons

in the world and they have been heavily merchandised as well. 


When Walt Disney passed away in 1966 he was worth about $1 billion Adjusted for inflation,

in the small animation house he founded on October 16,

1923 is now valued at more than $42 billion. 

9. Henry Ford

Henry Ford founder the of Ford motors is generally credited with the proliferation of the ford mobil on a large scale.

Born to an immigrant father and an orphan mother,

Ford was extremely poor growing up,

but he had a knack for mechanical projects.

His father gave him a pocket watch in his early teens and at 15 years

old Ford dismantled and reassembled the time pieces of friends and neighbors dozens of time,

Getting a reputation as a watch repairman,

Henry Ford dropped out of high school and left the family farm when he was 16,

he relocated to Detroit where he came an apprentice in a machine shop and later chief engineer at the Edison illuminating company.


Ford built his first car in 1896 and will go on to revolutionize the assembly line.

After his model T car became the first ubiquitous automobile in the history of the world, Ford went on to radically alter the realms of industrial production and labor philosophy,

his net worth today would be an unbelievable $199 billion.

This is an amazing feet considering the Ford motor company was founded in 1903

with just $28,000 in capital but Henry Ford proves it pays to pursue your passion even if it is initially difficult. 


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8. Amancio Ortega

Even if you don’t know Amancio Ortega by name,

there’s a very good chance you have seen his merchandise on numerous occasions.

He is the founder and former chairman of inditex fashion group best known for its chain of Zara clothing and accessory shops.

The fashion group also owns the chain Zara home,

Massimo dutti, Bershka, pull and bear, Stradivarius and uterque. 

Born in 1936, he started delivering shirts at age 12 after dropping out of school because his family needed the money,

he learned how to make dressing gowns and lingerie with his first wife Rosalia mera with whom he had two children,

thanks to his eye for investments,

he is considered a pioneer in fast fashions. 


Fast fashion are based on runway attire but sold at the price the average person can afford.

Ortega is now the second wealthiest person in

Europe and a sixth wealthiest overall with a net worth of over $73 billion Ortega is notoriously private and

refuses interviews with journalists but one thing is clear a

high school education was not necessary for him to create the largest textile empire in the world. 


7. Kirk Kerkorian

Kirkorian had a difficult childhood but this didn’t impede his rapid path to success as an adult, kerkorian was born into poverty in 1917,

his father was a fruit merchant who immigrated to the United States from Armenia, kerkorian dropped out of school after eighth grade but

eventually made millions in the airline industry putting him on the path to becoming a billionaire, he bought and sold MGM studios three

times And he counted Cary Grant and Frank Sinatra among his good friends,


by the time he died at 98 in 2015 he own many of the major hotels and casinos in Las Vegas.

  “No business health is interest as much as gaming” according to close friends, kerkorian owned operated and sold a hand full of historic strip resorts,

playing a paramount role in shaping the landscape of the strip in Las Vegas. 

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Publications and historians called kerkorian as one of the

central figures in helping Las Vegas grow into one of the world’s premier tourist destinations. 

 He was an eighth grade dropout who trained his

way to a $15 Billion fortune and for a time became the richest person in Los Angeles. 


6. Francois Pinault

François Pinault is one of the wealthiest man in France and with $30 billion in the bank he also ranks as the 30th richest person

on the planet but things are not always easy for Pinault, he was poor growing up, his family lived in a suburb in Brittany and western

France and his schoolmates teased him relentlessly for his unkempt clothes,

after quitting his high school in 1947 he joined his family’s business,

timber trading. In the 1970s when he already had the necessary business Acumen,

he started buying smaller firms and transforming them into a giant enterprise.


His strategy was taking over smaller enterprises and turning them into megabrands which helped him to establish a sprawling business empire,

his holding company Artemis Essay among many others like converse shoes, Night luggage, château Latour, the veil ski resort in Colorado and Christie’s auction house.

Artemis also owns executive life insurance company, he is also one of the biggest names in fine art collection with an art house worth in excess of $500 million,

on the magazine art reviews 2006 List of Most powerful people in modern art, he was ranked first place. After the Notre Dame the Paris fire of April 15,

2019 he pledged €100 million as a donation for the reconstruction works and repairs at the cathedral. 


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5. David H. Murdock

With a net worth of $3 Billion, 91-year-old David H Murdock has

made some huge contributions to the fields of medical research and higher education. 

Murdoch is the owner and chairman of the dole food company,

the world’s largest producer and marketer of fresh fruit, fresh vegetables, packaged meals and frozen foods. As if that wasn’t enough,

he’s also the owner and CEO of the real estate development company Castle & Cooke but Murdoch wasn’t always the epitome of success,

he dropped out of high school  and was drafted into the army during World War II and was homeless in Detroit after the war,

but he got experience in the real estate market and then he moved to Los Angeles and took Over the nearly bankrupt firm Castle and Cooke,

which own the pineapple and banana producer dole foods company. 

 In 2013 he took dole foods private and a deal that valued his company at $1.6 billion,

now Murdoch is determined to find medical research that will help improve life for people all over the world. 


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4. Richard Branson

Though Richard Branson is not one of the wealthiest people in the world,

his the kind of billionaire with remarkable ideas and flashy businesses that gun attention from the media,

as a result he is a household name in his virgin group which control 400 companies in various fields,

is present all over the world but Branson had a rocky start in life

“I was seen as the dumbest person at school”

the founder and CEO of Virgin group told reporters. “the idea that I could be successful didn’t dawn on me”

as a young student Branson struggled with dyslexia,

He had a hard time keeping up with his classes but what was perceived as a weakness became a source of strength and what’s interesting


about people who are dyslexic is that they cannot excel at

things that they love and have a passion for and I have a passion for quite a lot of things branson said. 

In order to pursue these passions,

Branson dropped out of school when he was seventeen Years old, he found a magazine called students and advertised mail order

records for much cheaper prices as they were generally available from time, the resulting business was Virgin records his first successful venture,

the company now includes virgin Atlantic,

virgin media and virgin galactic, a Space exploration Company. 

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3. Carl Lindner jr

Carl Linda Junior was an Ohio native who founded the dairy empire and died as one of the wealthiest people in the world in 2011.

Linda was a delivery boy for his family’s dairy company during the Great Depression.

With two brothers Robert and Richard and a sister Dorothy,

he opened an ice cream shop with a $1200 loan in 1940..


After dropping out of school at 14 during the great depression he helped to expand his family’s dairy business into United dairy farmers,

a large chain of convenience stores.

Linder left the business and started investing in savings and loans in 1959 then went into insurance in 1971.

The American financial group he bought “Chiquita Brands international” in 1984,

Linda ran banana company until 2001. 

Linder also a big sports fan, opted to buy the Cincinnati Reds which proved to be extremely profitable until he sold his stake in the franchise in 2005,

in his later years Linder focused more on philanthropy and

politics but none of this would’ve been possible without his industrious spirit and work ethic. 

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2. Joe Lewis

Joe Lewis dropped out of high school at 15 to run his father’s catering business

Tavistock banqueting and he is currently worth about $5.3 billion according to forbes. 

The businessman who works from his yacht most of the year,

\owns a planned community in Lake Nona near Orlando  

Which is now one of the fastest growing development in America and houses a medical city that includes numerous medical facilities and university research centers,

after selling the family business in the late 1970s, Lewis moved into currency trading in the 1980s and 1990s,

resulting  in his moved to the Bahamas where he is now a tax exile. 

In September 1992, Louis teamed up with George Saurus to bet on the pound crashing out of the European exchange rate mechanism,

the event which was dub black Wednesday made Lewis very wealthy and some said he made more than saurus,

though many believed that Lewis made his money in a Dishonest manner,

it’s impossible to deny that he use Street Smart and common sense to pivot among numerous industries and become one of the wealthiest man in England. 


Lewis is also an avid art collector,

Lewis’s art collection is estimated to be worth $1 billion it includes works by Picasso, tease,

Lucian And sculptor Henry Moore.

Lewis bought Francis Bacon’s triptych 1974-1977 in 2008 for 26,300,000 pounds,

then a record for postwar artwork bought in Europe. 

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1. John D. Rockefeller

John Rockefeller was born in upstate New York in 1839, his mother Eliza Davison Rockefeller was very religious and very disciplined,

she taught John to work to save and to give to charities. 


By the age of 12 he had saved over $50 from working for neighbors and raising some turkeys for his mother, at the urging of his mother,

he loaned a local Farmer $50 at 7% interest payable in one year,

when the farmer paid him back with interest the next year Rockefeller was impressed and decided to follow his first dollar. 

Rockefeller who barely attended formal school at all in his formative years left to pursue a career in business when he was only 16 years old,

In 1870 Rockefeller founded standard oil company which eventually became a domineering monopoly in the oil industry.

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Rockefellers leadership in standard oil brought him great wealth as well as controversy because many oppose Rockefeller’s business practices,

his adjusted net worth was $490 Billion meaning that

he was one of the wealthiest people in history and many times richer than anyone living today.


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Newton is a Nigerian blogger, video creator and also a crypto trader that is always aspiring GROWTH in knowledge and finance as well his blogging career...

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