Knowledge is power. But superior and important knowledge can be acquired in more than one way. High school and then college represents the traditional recipe, while the path that these people took represents what Frank Sinatra so passionately sang about. They all did it their way.
Proving that having a vision and then working hard and with passion and determination to fulfill your dream is the key to success, these multimillionaire high school dropouts are great examples of tenacity.
1. Robert De Niro
We start the list with a name everybody knows and has respect for: Robert De Niro. He left school at 17 and studied acting at Lee Strasberg’s Actor’s Studio and at Stella Alder Conservatory. The result is a two Oscars winner with world fame and pots of money.
2. Kirk Kerkorian
Why did this $3 billion worth man leave school? He loved boxing and when he was only in the eighth grade he decided to dedicate his energy to this sport. He later invested heavily in huge businesses like the International Hotel in Vegas or the MGM Mirage.
3. Francois Pinault
Pinault is the third richest man in France, with holdings like Gucci, Puma, Christie’s Auction House and Smasonite. But before getting here, he dropped school and started working in his father’s lumber mill. Back then his school mates mocked him for his poor background. We wonder who’s laughing now.
4. Peter Jackson
People could see his passion for acting from his very childhood. His career developed steadily and after he was chosen to be part of the amazing Lord of the Rings trilogy, his fame and fortune simply exploded. And he now is the owner of three beautiful Oscars. It’s hard to believe that Peter Jackson dropped out of high school.
5. Richard Carmona
But if you find Peter Jackson’s story hard to believe, then we’re really curious to know what you’ll think about this man. Believe it or not, Richard Carmona became a U.S. surgeon general, without ever finishing high school. At age 16 he enlisted in the U.S. Army, then got his GED and later successfully graduated the University of California to become a surgeon. In 2002 president Bush appointed him surgeon general of the United States. What a story!
6. Billy Joel
The six Grammy Awards winner needed one more credit to graduate high school, but that didn’t stop him from selling over 150 million records and entering the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. His worth? $160 million.
7. Catherine Zeta-Jones
We all fell in love with Catherine after seeing her in The Mask of Zorro. But did you know that the Oscar winner actress is also a high school dropout? She quit school at 15 and went for her dream. Her determination turned her into the star she is today, with an estimated worth of about $45 million.
Shawn Carter aka Jay-Z didn’t have an easy life, but he managed to accomplish a lot with talent and hard work. The former drug dealer is now one of Hollywood’s highest earning personalities and a ten-time Grammy award winner. Plus he has a gorgeous and talented wife, Beyonce .
9. Simon Cowell
The 16 years old Simon Cowell decided he didn’t want to finish high school. Now he’s 50 and one of the most famous impresarios in the world. Young talents crave for his appreciation whenever they sing before him. And his fortune grows and grows…
10. Richard Branson
Another high school dropout at age 16. Richard Branson is now the ruler of a 200 companies empire: Virgin Group. You’ve probably heard about his latest deed, the world’s first spaceport. He enjoys a $4 billion estimated worth.