Mark Zuckerberg – Dropping out of Harvard you’d think would be a bad idea especially when everyone is trying to get in. However, if you are destined to create the most influential social website ever, then who cares about Harvard.
Paul Allen – Co-founder of the Microsoft Corporation, Allen is worth $15 billion. Did you know that he was the one who convinced Bill Gates to drop out of Harvard? Well guess what, he, too, dropped out of Washington State University in his sophomore year.
Michael Dell – Who hasn’t heard of Dell computers? The founder of Dell Inc. is a billionaire. A University of Texas at Austin drop out, he has made Dell computers a household name.
Sheldon Adelson – The famous casino owner is worth billions of dollars irrespective of the fact that he dropped out of City College of New York. The co-founder of Adelson Foundation, he is known as one of the richest in the United States.
Dave Thomas – Yes thke Wendy's guy, Dave Thomas never went to college, yet that never stopped him from giving McDonald’s a run for its money.
Harrison Ford – Indiana Jones may have been a globetrotting archeologist in the Indiana Jones series but in real life, he never graduated from Ripon College, in fact he was a carpenter by trade.
Tom Hanks – Yes Forrest Gump never graduated from college either. As they say ‘Stupid is as stupid does’ never applied to this guy.
James Cameron – Yes it is true, the Titanic and Avatar creator never graduated from college. Lesson: Think big and do not be afraid to take risks.
Woody Allen - The funny man flunked out of college. Allen has not won one, two or three but FOUR Academy Awards. Who’s laughing now!
Nicole Kidman – An Academy Award winner, Kidman has entertained us for years like nobody else. This Australian beauty never finished college either.
Tiger Woods – The golfing legend dropped out of Stanford. Woods, needless to say, is one of the most successful golfers of all time.
LeBron James – Unlike his NBA colleagues, James never graduated college. That, however, never stopped him from becoming one of the best basketball players in the game.
Josh Hamilton – A five-time MLB All-Star, Hamilton is one of the few in MLB history to hit four home runs in a game.
Kevin Garnett – Known for his exceptional basketball skills, trash talk, ability to sweat and defensive prowess. Garnett had a successful run with the Minnesota Timberwolves with whom he scored his MVP.
Alex Rodriguez – Despite all the controversies that he has been able to generate, Rodriguez is one of the most famous baseball players of all time who didn’t graduate.
Lady Gaga – The voice and face behind “Poker Face”, “Just Dance” and countless more, is an NYU dropout. She is also the recipient of five Grammy Awards.
Adele – Lack of college education never stopped her from singing “Set Fire to the Rain” and become one of the most melodious voices of the 21st century.
Christina Aguilera – Yes the “Voice of a generation” and “Princess of Pop” is also not a college grad. Madonna – Not having a college education couldn’t stop this “Like a Virgin” girl from entering the billion dollar club in 2013.
Billy Joel - If you need to take a crash course in world history listen to Joel’s “We didn’t start the fire”. Also the performer didn’t need a History degree to write this song.
F. Scott Fitzgerald – Author of “The Great Gatsby” and one of the greatest American writers of the 20th century, was a Princeton dropout.
Ray Bradbury – Author of “Fahrenheit 451” is one of the most celebrated American writers of the 20th century. He didn’t have a college degree.
Charles Dickens – Although no degree in English, English language literature is incomplete without his works.
William Faulkner – He is undoubtedly one of the most influential writers in American literature. Didn’t need to go to college for all those big words.
Mark Twain – The author of the “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” and “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer”, arguably some of the best American literature didn’t have a college education.
Surely there are many more who never finished college yet became famous for one reason or another. It is important to note that although the abovementioned came out on top, they had the talent and the perseverance which adequately made up for their lack of education.
This is not a complete list of those who made it big without graduating. However, here is what I want you take away from this blog.