20 Successful Entrepreneurs Who Didn’t Graduate College

Is college education really the key to professional success? Most of us are taught that a degree is a prerequisite, however the reality is a bit more complex.  You can get a great degree (and rack up a ton of debt in the process) and go on to have an average career. You can skip college and get by too.

We’ve compiled a list of 20 successful entrepreneurs that show us that life has more than one path to success, and with enough talent, motivation and definitely luck, almost anything is attainable.

Here’s our list of well known entrepreneurs who made it without college education.

  1. David Kurp, founder of Tumblr. Dropped out of school at 15 to then get homeschooled. Never attended college.
  2. Rachel Ray, cooking TV show star. Never attended college and had no formal training in culinary arts. She also became an author and businesswoman.
  3. Charles Culpeper, owner and CEO of Coca Cola. Dropped out of high school.
  4. Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple. Dropped out of Reed college because his parents could not afford it. At the time of his death, his net worth was $11 billion.
  5. Dustin Moskovitz, co-founder of Facebook. Harvard University dropout.
  6. John Mackey, founder of Whole Foods supermarket. Dropped out of college six times.
  7. Fredrick Henry Royce, co-founder of Rolls-Royce. He actually dropped out of elementary school.
  8. Henry Ford, founder of Ford Motor Company. Never attended college.
  9. Ray Kroc, founder of McDonalds. Dropped out of high school.
  10. Richard DeVos, co-founder of Amway. Did not attend college but served in the army.
  11. Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Atlantic Airways, Virgin Records, Virgin Mobile and many other Virgin brands. Dropped out of high school at the age of 16.
  12. Walt Disney, founder of Walt Disney Company.  Dropped out of high school at the age of 16.
  13. Steve Madden, shoe designer. Dropped out of college. http://www.stevemadden.com
  14. Russell Simmons, founder of Russell Simmons Music Group, Phat Farm, co-founder of Def Jam Records. Didn’t finish college and also managed to be a bestselling author.
  15. Micky Arison, co-founder of Carnival Corporation, the world’s largest cruise operator. Owns NBA’s Miami Heats. Dropped out of The University of Miami.
  16. John Paul DeJoria, founder of Patron. Once told by his high school teacher that he “would never succeed at anything.” Never attended college .
  17. Susan Lyne, CEO of AOL. Dropped out of college.
  18. Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft. Dropped out of Harvard University.
  19. Evan Williams, co-founder of Twitter. Went to The University of Nebraska for a year then dropped out.
  20. Ralph Lauren, founder of Ralph Lauren Corp. Attended Baruch College for two years then dropped out to join the Army.

SHARE THIS STORY

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email

RELATED POSTS

Hello Group Introduces inSpaze: An Immersive Social App for Apple Vision Pro

Hello Group Inc., a prominent mobile social entertainment provider in China, introduces its immersive social application, inSpaze, an immersive social application exclusively for Apple Vision Pro users in the United States. This application, crafted for visionOS, leverages advanced technologies like 3Ds, Reality Converter and Reality Composer Pro, offering a unique spatial computing experience that connects users worldwide through Spatial Audio and 3D interactive content.

Are There More Layoffs Coming in 2024?

Even as we kick off the new year, the horrors of the year past are not behind us. In 2023, major tech companies undertook big layoffs—in January last year, Google reduced its headcount by 6% (it also recently hinted at a fresh round of layoffs this year); in December 2023, Spotify laid off 17% of its staff and more companies gave out pink slips. This trend has been ongoing for a couple of years since the pandemic shook global markets.

GuideGeek Expands to Facebook Messenger to Offer Personalized Travel Tips

GuideGeek, Matador Network’s AI travel assistant powered by OpenAI, is now accessible to Facebook Messenger users, expanding its reach beyond WhatsApp and Instagram. This move aims to place GuideGeek in the hands of more travelers globally, offering instant, personalized travel tips at no cost.

Elon Musk’s Neuralink Debuts Brain Chip Implant: A Bold Future with Ethical Questions

Elon Musk’s Neuralink is back in the spotlight with a major update: they’ve put a brain chip, called the Link, into a human for the first time. This small device has set its sights on monumental goals, such as helping people who’ve lost their limb functionality. Musk’s big dream doesn’t stop there—he wants the chip to boost our brains, improve our memory and eventually blend the human mind with artificial intelligence (AI).

Mercedes-Benz Launches the New Luxurious CLE Cabriolet

Mercedes-Benz has launched the CLE Cabriolet, building on its heritage of creating four-seater convertible vehicles. This new addition is characterized by its expressive design, advanced technology, and high-quality features, ensuring an enhanced driving experience. The model, which evolves from the CLE Coupé, stands out with its traditional fabric acoustic soft top and distinct high-quality details, making it uniquely positioned in the market. Designed to offer dynamic performance alongside exceptional daily comfort, the CLE Cabriolet supports year-round open-air enjoyment.