Top 10 Dropout Celebrities

This post is kindly provided by Anne J. Young.

The new academic year has entered every freshman's realm of reality, and there’s nothing more plausible for a university newbie to hear about the rich & famous that were dropped out of their universities. So who’s on our list?

1. Steve Jobs

It was only 6 months into the Reed College when Steve Jobs parents faced financial problems — the education fees were too high for them to afford. In this pivotal moment, Jobs leaves college and tries to meet his ends while searching for enlightenment in distant places. Been out of school, he practices Zen Buddhism, wanders Indian landscapes and manages to compose a dozen of circuit boards on his prior-to-Apple journey.

2. Bill Gates

Unlike Jobs, Bill’s parents had old money and could easily afford his education at Harvard, but this also wasn't a reason for Gates to stay there, so he took a gap. With only a high school degree and a passion for the computer he and his high school friend Paul Allen developed Microsoft and have been working full-time on the project. Bill once said "...if things hadn't worked out, I could always go back to school“ since he was on a leave of absence.

3. James Cameron

One of the most well-known film directors also didn’t end up finishing his degree. After moving to California with his family in 1971, he started attending Fullerton College studying physics. It didn’t last long before he dropped out, married a waitress and became a truck driver. Only in 1977, he became interested in filmmaking, and his career path became distinct.

4. Mark Zuckerberg

Probably the most important thing to learn from Mark Zuckerberg's biography is that the student dorm rooms are just an excellent foundation for genius startups. After Facebook became viral, Mark packed his bags and moved to Palo Alto. He left his education behind for the time being, until in 2017, 12 years later, he finally became a Harvard graduate.

5. Buckminster Fuller

Buckminster Fuller — brilliant American mastermind and a college dropout.

He had to be expelled from Harvard several times. However, it was the most successful time that was fueled by his passion for making the world a better place to live and introduce people to the futuristic ideas. Dymaxion house and car, geodesic domes — are the most iconic innovations of his.

6. Frank Lloyd Wright

A prominent American interior designer and architect had more than 500 accomplished works in his portfolio and zero university degrees. He was admitted to the University of Wisconsin-Madison, but only a year later, in 1887, he left it. Eventually, he became an apprentice of Louis Sullivan, who was a pioneer of modernism. His most famous work was New York City's Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum.

7. Tom Hanks

Tom Hanks has left his college only to become an intern at Great Lakes Theater Festival, where he learned the basics of theatre management, from lighting to stage designs. He worked his way up from college failing student to the Hollywood’s most notable celebrity.

8. Harrison Ford

American actor and a film producer also didn’t finish his academic career. Instead, he wanted to succeed as a radio jockey. Though he didn’t get this job, he signed a contract with Columbia Pictures to appear in short plays. It wasn't long until he made his appearance in some major films and flourished into a talented movie star.

9. Lady Gaga

She attended New York University's Tisch School of the Arts but had to leave after only a year of studying to pursue her music career. Before she broke onto the music scene with her superior performances at the age of 20, she used to write song lyrics and sell them to other celebrities like Pussycat Dolls.

10. Tiger Woods

After two years at Stanford University, Woods announced that he’s officially ending his academic career only to become one of the highest paid sports players in the world. His half-finished economic degree wouldn’t probably serve him a favour of earning more than $100 million annually today.


About the Author:

Anne J. Young is an experienced senior consultant, sales manager and freelance writer. Her writing career is still developing thanks to her efforts and academic writing assistance. Melissa is running her Post-Baccalaureate Certificate Program in Writing in San Francisco now.

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