Any 90s kids will remember the ads for Steve Madden shoes – the big-headed dolls walking around in the stylish shoes that everyone wanted. Madden was born in Queens, New York, finished high school, and went to the University of Miami.
However, he dropped out after two years and decided to move to Long Island. Once there, the business-minded Madden started selling shoes out of the trunk of his car in the streets and founded his famous shoe company with $1,100 in 1990.
He may not have the fame of Bill Gates or Steve Jobs, but Philip Emeagwali is equally as important when it comes to the development of computer science. The Nigerian computer scientist was forced to leave school when he was 13 years old due to the social and political unrest in Nigeria at the time.
Philip was such a savant in math that he earned a scholarship to the Oregon College of Education in the United States. In 1987, Philip discovered a formula that allowed several computers to communicate with each other simultaneously. This earned him the 1989 Gordon Bell Prize and unparalleled prestige.
For decades, Bill Gates has been ranked as the world’s richest person, owning the Microsoft Corporation since its inception in 1975. Gates wrote his first software program at 13 while in prep school. Years later, he enrolled in Harvard University, but only lasted two years before dropping out and founding Microsoft. At age 26, Gates had already become a millionaire.
Nowadays, Gates is worth over $131 billion, which he and his wife have largely invested in The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, aiding worldwide health and education.
If you’re a cricket enthusiast, the name Sachin Tendulkar will be extremely familiar, as he is a legend in the sport. Tendulkar, born in Mumbai in 1973, wasn’t good at academics and left school at the young age of 16. However, also by that age, Tendulkar was playing cricket for India’s national team.
The Mumbai native went on to break world records and became one of the best cricket players in history and the only one to have scored over 34,000 runs.
Two-time World Heavyweight Champion and Olympic gold medalist George Foreman is one of the world’s most famous boxers. But Foreman had rough beginnings, dropping out of school when he was 15, in 9th grade, and joining street gangs. Fortunately, Foreman joined the Job Corps in 1965 and started training.
Foreman made it into the World and the International Boxing Hall of Fame, but his fortune of millions didn’t come from prize money. Ironically, it came after he retired and started working as the spokesperson for his line of barbeque grills.