Billionaires Who Dropped Out Of High School: We’ve all heard it, had it drilled into our minds since we were old enough to first put on a backpack. If you want to be successful, then you have to go to college.
It’s the only way to success? Right? Well, that’s not always the case – and although we always suggest furthering your education.
Sometimes you can make your way in this world without immediately going into debt after you turn 18 – as seen with these top 10 billionaires who dropped out of high school.
Top 10 Billionaires Who Dropped Out Of High School
10. Ted Turner
Network mogul and “entrepreneurial acumen” Ted Turner, would find a multitude of success throughout his career; even though he hadn’t completed college.
His father, Robert Edward Turner Jr. owned the successful Turner Advertising company, which found its success via billboard ad sales.
After a brief stint at a boarding school in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Ted would be encouraged to enrol in Harvard, by his father.
Though Ted’s grades weren’t of the required levels for Harvard, he would, in turn, enrol in Brown University; though he’d be kicked out for having a woman in his dorm.
It wasn’t until 1960 that Ted was made the manager of Turner Advertising’s Georgia branch- and in 1963.
After a costly buyout of a competitor about bankrupt the company, EdTurner would take his own life; leaving Tejas president of what is now called TurnerCommunications.
Currently, as of 2016, Ted Turner is worth a modest $2.2 Billion.
9. Ty Warner
Creator of the Beanie Baby, Ty Warner would enrol in Kalamazoo College, of Michigan, where he majored in Drama.
After a short stint, Ty would drop out then move to Hollywood, California, where he would go in search of an acting career.
With that failing, he would work several odd jobs; while he was working one of these jobs as a camera salesman, he would be introduced to a representative for the toy company, Dakin, in 1962.
He would work for Dakin for 18 years and in 1980 he would depart from the company to visit and stay with some friends in Italy.
Inspired by the stuffed animals there, he would return to the United States and began producing Beanie Babies in the early 1990s. As of 2016, Ty Warner is worth about $2.5 Billion.
8. Oprah Winfrey
Philanthropist, actress and billionaire, Oprah Winfrey, wasn’t always in such good standings in life.
She was molested by numerous male relatives and friends of her mother until she moved to Nashville to live with her father.
In 1971 she enrolled in Tennessee State University and 1976, she dropped out and moved to Baltimore to pursue a job offer.
As the new host for People Are Talking, the show grew to become a sensation, with Oprahat the helm for 8-years until she was approached by a station in Chicago to host her morning show.
The rest is pretty much history and as of2016, Oprah is worth an impressive $3 Billion.
7. Steve Jobs
Co-founder of Apple Computers, alongside Steve Wozniak, Steve Jobs would quickly become a name recognized across the globe.
After high school, Jobs would enrol in ReedCollege in Portland, Oregon.
Though feeling lost and directionless, he would drop out less than a year later, and in 1974, Steve would take a job with Atari.
Leaving Atari just a few months after, Jobs made his way to India where he experimented with psychedelic drugs for “spiritual enlightenment”.
Two years later, Jobs would return to the theUnited States and form Apple Computer with his old high school friend, Steve Wozniak.
Working out of their garages, the company would grow to become a multi-billion dollar company, and at the time of his death in 2011, he was reportedly worth $10.2 Billion.
6. Paul Allen
When you think of Microsoft, you think of Bill Gates, but does the name PaulAllen ring a bell?
It should, as without Paul, then Microsoftprobably never would have happened.
After just 2-years of college at Washington StateUniversity, Paul would convince Bill Gates to drop out and co-create the company known as Microsoft in 1975.
In 1983, Allen would resign from Microsoft, but this wasn’t due to a falling out, as Paul and Bill remain friends to this day.
But because he was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s disease. As of 2016, Paul Allen is worth $17.4 billion.
5. Michael Dell
It wasn’t until Michael Dell was enrolled at the University of Texas that he would find his calling.
Realizing that the home computer was still a fairly new concept, and no one has tried to sell it directly to the consumer, Dell would close out his savings account and began building personal computers from his dorm room in college.
Focusing on more than just the machine itself, Dell provided affordable prices, amazing customer support, and a bond of customer relations that had almost been lost in the times.
It wasn’t long until he had clients outside of his school, and he was forced to drop out to meet the expectations of his customers.
This decision, however, proved to be well worth it, as in 1984, his first full year of operations, he made an impressive $6 million. Now as of 2016, Michael Dell is worth just shy of $20 Billion.
4. Mukesh Ambani
Not all of these success stories are “underdog” tales, in the instance of Mukesh Ambani, who was born the son of the Indian business tycoon, Dhirubhai Ambani.
Mukesh would enrol himself into StanfordUniversity but was forced to drop out to aid his father with the family startup company, Reliance, which had grown quickly.
Through his leadership, the company would boom as it expanded over multiple sectors, such as petroleum refining and gas exploration.
As of 2016, Mukesh is worth a staggering $20.8Billion, which he isn’t afraid to show.
He lives with his family in one of the most expensive residential houses ever built, estimated to be worth more than $1 Billion.
3. Mark Zuckerberg
As co-founder and CEO of the largest social media website known as Facebook, he has also become one of the world’s youngest billionaires to date.
In 2002, Mark would enrol at Harvard University where he would develop and create a program called CourseMatch; a program that helped students choose their classes, as well as a program called Facemash.
With word of his creative genius spreading across campus rapidly, three fellow students would reach out to him to ask for help developing a social network.
Though he agreed, he would quickly leave the group to focus on the social networking site with a few other friends.
In 2004, after the success of his site “Facebook”, he would drop out of college to commit all his time to his craft.
A decision that has gained him a net worth of $35.7 Billion as of 2016.
2. Lawrence Ellison
Entrepreneur and CEO, Lawrence Ellison, founded the Oracle Corporation, but not until he had his attempts at college first.
Right after high school, Larry would enrol in the University of Illinois and be even named the science student of the year.
During his second year, his adopted mother would pass away, resulting in his departure from college.
A year later he would attempt a go at the University of Chicago, dropping out just after a semester.
Deciding he would find his calling out west, he left for Berkeley, California, broke and with hardly a belonging to his name, he bounced from job to job, developing limited programming skills in between.
In 1977, he and two colleagues founded Software Development Labs and were soon under contract to develop a data management system for the CIA.
The resulting system was called Oracle, and just a few years later, in 1981, IBM agreed to use it, doubling the company’s sales for the next seven years.
Today the company employs over 130,000 people across the world, and Lawrence himself is worth an estimated $49.3 Billion.
1. Bill Gates
I feel as if this one is pretty self-explanatory, we know the story, after a normal and uneventful childhood, Bill would attend Harvard University, and in 1974.
He was convinced by friend and fellow billionaire, Paul Allen, to develop software.
In 1975, they created Microsoft, creating the operating system MS-DOS for the computer giant, IBM.
In 1985, Microsoft released its first retail version of Windows; and by 1993, they had more than 25-million licensed users.
Being dubbed the richest man in America in 1993, he would hold onto that title for 18-years.
Still astoundingly rich by any means, as of 2016, Bill is worth $79.2-billion, even after he retires from Microsoft in 2008.