We all know the studies that correlate education with success in life and in most cases schooling is a necessity for professional and social advancement. But there seem to be people who despite lack of a formal education have the intelligence and motivation to achieve great degrees of wealth. Here are some of America’s richest people who never completed high school:
Here’s a man who made Forbes list of wealthiest people who never attended high school graduation.
Here’s a man who made Forbes list of wealthiest people who never attended high school graduation. Richard Branson, the founder of Virgin Atlantic Airways, may have been too busy playing entrepreneur to devote time to formal study. He launched his first businesses at the age of 15, the initial one is a magazine called Student. This was followed by a mail-order business selling records in the 1970s which predated the launch of Virgin Records in the 1970s. He subsequently went on to start Virgin Airways and amass a fortune of almost four billion dollars. All of this after leaving school at age 16.
— Richard Branson (@richardbranson) November 24, 2018
This name may not ring a bell for you, but the entrepreneur built the first cable television network in the mid 1950s in New York state after quietly leaving high school ten years earlier to join the marines After amassing a small fortune from the company, he sold it to Time Warner for 2.6 billion dollars and went on to make the Forbes list of wealthiest people in 2006 with a net worth of 1.4 billion dollars.
Raised by adoptive parents, Dave dropped out of school at age fifteen to become a full-time busboy
You’re probably already familiar with the remarkable story of Dave Thomas who started Wendy’s chain of fast food restaurants. Raised by adoptive parents, Dave dropped out of school at age fifteen to become a full-time busboy. Even at that time, he showed a strong proclivity towards the restaurant business, taking an active role in helping the owners promote their small eating establishment. Following a stint in the military, Dave went on to help turn around several failing Kentucky Fried Chicken stores, transforming them into multi-millionaire dollar successes. On the wings of that victory, Dave Thomas launched his restaurant with the rest being history. He did complete his high school GED many years later.
David Murdock has the distinction of being the 204th richest person in the world with a net worth of 4.2 billion dollars. You know him best as the owner of Dole Food Company. In the mid-1980’s this company was a failing, near-bankrupt company. David Murdock took over the company turning it into the world’s largest producer of canned vegetables and fruits. After dropping out of school in the ninth grade, David Murdock pumped gas before entering the army in the mid-1940’s. After several entrepreneurial ventures with varying degrees of success, he went on to build Dole Foods into the empire it is today.
This is certainly not a comprehensive list of ultra rich American’s who dropped out of high school. Their ranks also include James Clark (founder of Netscape), Bill Bartman (founder of multiple successful companies and listed on Forbe’s 400 richest), Kemmons Wilson (founder of Holiday Inn), Carl Lindner (billionaire business owner), among others. All of these high school dropouts were self-made successes.
Although this is certainly not an endorsement for dropping out of high school, it illustrates that sometimes extraordinary drive and determination can overcome apparent obstacles such as a lack of education. For the majority of Americans though, a good education is still the most secure path to success.