The Most Successful College Dropouts In History

by Michael Dunlop

Successful Entrepreneurs Who Dropped Out of School

Several years ago (2009) we published a blog post about the most successful college dropouts in history. There are many young entrepreneur dropouts, and I’m one of them. To celebrate us dropouts I compiled a list updated for 2015 with the top entrepreneurs who dropped out of college and still managed to crush it in business.

Here are some notable takeaways from our dropouts:

  • Over 1.5 million employees.
  • Over $600 billion net worth.
  • Over $40 billion donated to charity.
  • 14 names made their billions in the tech space.
  • 10 names made their billions in the last 10 years.

Top 30 College Drop Outs Who Made It Big in Business

Henry-Ford#1. Henry Ford  (Ford)

Net Worth $199 Billion – Dropped out at 16.

Henry Ford dropped out at 16 and later founded Ford Motor Company in 1903. By 1908 he dropped the famous Model T and the assembly line, which has affected all of our lives, literally shaping the world. If he was still alive today, he’d be worth $199 Billion.

Bill Gates Headshot#2. Bill Gates (Microsoft)

Net Worth $78.8 Billion – Dropped out at 19.

Gates attended Harvard in the fall of 1973, only to drop out two years later to found Microsoft with childhood buddy Paul Allen. In 2007, he ended up receiving an honorary degree from Harvard.


Larry Ellison Headshot#3. Larry Ellison (Oracle)

Net Worth $56.6 Billion – Dropped out at 20. 

Larry Ellison is a serial entrepreneur, programmer and philanthropist who made a good chunk of his billions via the multinational tech corp, Oracle. Oh yea, he also own an island in Hawaii named, “Larry Ellison Island.”


Amancio Ortega#4. Amancio Ortega (Zara)

Net Worth $66.2 Billion – Dropped out at 14. 

At 27, Ortega founded his own company, producing quality yet affordable garments, and in 1975, he opened his first retail store, Zara. Ortega is now the richest man in Spain.


Zuckerberg-headshot#5. Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook)

Net Worth $33.7 Billion – Dropped out at 19.

Surely you’ve heard of Mark Zuckerberg. If not, he’s the guy who founded the second highest traffic website in the world, Facebook. Remember the hoodie he wore to all of his press conferences and public events?


li_ka_shing#6. Li Ka Shing (Cheung Kong Holdings)

Net Worth $33.5 Billion – Dropped out at 15. 

Li Ka Shing said “deuces” to school at age 15 and started selling watch bands. Today he’s the world’s largest operator of container terminals, world’s largest health and beauty retailer, Chinese energy supplier and real estate developer.

 Sheldon Adelson Headshot#7. Sheldon Adelson (Las Vegas Sands)

Net Worth $30.2 Billion – Dropped out at 19. 

While you may not know his face, you may have partied at one of his Vegas establishments for your 21st. Aside from Sheldon Adelson being a casino tycoon, he also owns the Israeli Daily newspaper and dabbles in politics.


Larry Page#8. Larry Page (Google

Net Worth $29.1 Billion – Dropped out at 21. 

Larry page is known for co-founding a little site called Google. He technically graduated from University of Michigan but later dropped out of his PhD. program which why he’s on the list. 


Mike-Dell#9. Michael Dell (Dell)

Net Worth $21.8 Billion – Dropped out at 19. 

Michael Dell truly caught the entrepreneurial bug in college. Selling upgrade mods for personal computers from his dorm, ultimately led to him getting a license from the State of Texas to bid on (large) contracts. The rest is history.

Paul-Allen#10. Paul Allen (Microsoft)

Net Worth $17 Billion – Dropped out at 20. 

This Microsoft co-founder is a sports fanatic, owning the Seattle Seahawks, and the NBA’s Portland Trailblazer’s. He’s known for having fun with his cash thanks to ridiculous toys ranging from submarines to 400ft yachts.

 azim-premji#11. Azim Premji (Wipro)

Net Worth $16.4 Billion – Dropped out at 22. 

Mr. Premji has been at the helm of Wipro Limited for four decades. In that time he’s grown them into one of the Indian leaders in the software industry.


Kerkorian Headshot#12. Kirk Kerkorian (Tracinda

Net Worth $10 Billion – Dropped out at 12. 

Kirk Kerkorian is known as the “father of the megaresort” and has helped develop, shape and grow Las Vegas. An 8th grade dropout, Kirk is a former boxer, WWII fighter pilot and CEO of the successful investment firm Tracinda.


steve jobs headshot#13. Steve Jobs (Apple)

Net Worth $8.3 Billion – Dropped out at 21. 

Jobs dropped out of college after one semester and recycled cans and bottles to make ends meet. A vegetarian Buddhist who frequently experimented with LSD, Jobs has been hailed as the Ford and Edison of our Time.

Dustin Moskovitz headshot#14. Dustin Moskovitz (Facebook)

Net Worth $8.2 Billion – Dropped out at 21.

Forbes reported Moskovitz to be the youngest self-made billionaire in history. Zuckerberg’s roommate at Harvard and Facebook’s third employee, Dustin left Facebook in 2008 to start hist software firm Asana.


Leslie Wexner Headshot#15. Lex Wexner (L Brands)

Net Worth $7.7 Billion – Dropped out at 22. 

Over the years Lex has built up some of the most famous brands in the world, including Abercrombie & Fitch, Lane Bryant, Limited Too and Express. Btw, he’s the shot caller aka current owner of Victoria Secret.


Jan Koum Headshot#16. Jan Koum (WhatsApp)

Net Worth $7.2 Billion – Dropped out at 20. 

Koum made $6.8 billion when Facebook acquired his mobile messaging startup WhatsApp for $19 billion. He had originally dropped out of school to Yahoo, where he oversaw security and infrastructure for the internet giant.


Ralph Lauren Headshot#17. Ralph Lauren (Ralph Lauren)

Net Worth $7.1 Billion – Dropped out at 20.

This billionaire fashion mogul studied business for 2 years before dropping out. In 1967, after leaving his clerk position at Brooks Brothers, Lauren sold $500,000 worth of ties. He started Polo the next year.


David Geffen Headshot

#18. David Geffen (Geffen Records)

Net Worth $6.9 Billion – Dropped out at 19. 

This guy founded Asylum Records and Geffen Records and co-founded DreamWorks. He also founded Hobby Lobby, a popular American chain of arts and crafts stores.


Walt Disney Headshot#19. Walt Disney (Disney)

Net Worth $5 billion (2015) – Dropped out at 16. 

Walt Disney dropped out of at 16 and founded Walt Disney; a company which now has an annual revenue of about $30 billion. He’s regarded as the most influential animator ever.


David Green Headshot#20. David Green (Hobby Lobby)

Net Worth $4.7 Billion – Dropped out at 18. 

Billionaire founder of Hobby Lobby, religious philanthropist. Did not attend college. Started the Hobby Lobby chain with a $600 loan.



richard-branson#21. Richard Branson (Virgin)

Net Worth $4.7 Billion – Dropped out at 16. 

ironically he dropped out to start a youth magazine called “Student.” After he moved to London in the 60s, he developed a “mail-order” record company to fund his magazine, named Virgin. Branson’s empire includes an airline, drinks manufacturer and over 400 other ventures.

Elizabeth Holmes Headshot#22. Elizabeth Holmes (Theranos)

Net Worth $4.5 Billion – Dropped out at 19. 

At 30, Elizabeth Holmes makes her debut on the Forbes 400 as the youngest self-made woman billionaire.  



Chandra Headshot#23. Subhash Chandra Goel (Zee Tv)

Net Worth $4 Billion – Dropped out at 12. 

Dr Chandra who is referred to as the Media Moghul of India, changed the television industry by launching the country’s first satellite Hindi channel in 1992. The Zee Network now has over 500 million viewers in 167 countries.

haim#24. Haim Saban (Saban Capital)

Net Worth $3.3 Billion – Dropped out at 13.

Saban made it big as the producer of the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers TV show in the early 90s. And later sold Fox Family to Disney for $5 Billion and made $1.7 Billion on the deal.


Sean Parker Headshot#25. Sean Parker (Facebook)

Net Worth $3 Billion – Dropped out at 14. 

He’s the co-founder of the infamous music sharing service Napster, which changed the music industry forever. He later served as Facebook’s first president owning 28.2% of B shares.

Evan Williams#26. Evan Williams (Twitter)

Net Worth $2.9 Billion – Dropped out at 19. 

Williams is one of the co-founders of Twitter and the founder of Square, and before each of the aforementioned companies he co-founded the successful podcasting company Odeo. 

Jack Dorsey Headshot#27. Jack Dorsey (Twitter)

Net Worth $2.5 Billion – Dropped out at 20. 

Dorsey, who is now on the board of Disney, is one of the founding members of Twitter, and founder and CEO of Square. He’s often referred to as the “cool” guy in tech.


Yamaouchi#28. Hiroshi Yamauchi (Nintendo)

Net Worth $2.1 Billion – Dropped out at 22. 

Yamauchi dropped out to take over the company his grandfather started in 1889, maintaining his role as the third president of Nintendo for 55 years, taking them from small card company to video game powerhouse.


Gabe Newell Headshot#29. Gabe Newell (Valve)

Net Worth $1.3 Billion – Dropped out at 20.

Newell co-founded Valve Corporation, a company famous for the sci-fi video game, Half Life. Newell claims to be “producer of the first three releases of Windows.” Like Zuckerberg and Gates, he was also a Harvard dropout.

Orji Uzor Kalu Headshot#30. Orji Uzor Kalu (Slok)

Net Worth $1 Billion – Dropped out at 20.

The Nigerian born billionaire and war survivor, made his billions in television and media after being expelled from University for leading student riots and taking a $35 loan from his mother.


We Can’t Gauge Our Success Based on Grades

Not having a college degree will be a hindrance to some avenues of success, but not all.  It does tend to make it harder to get a job with big companies (in particular) or with companies that are founded by individuals who place great value on academic degrees. These types of people are increasingly less common, especially in tech, as you’ll notice from this list, but there’s still a lot of them. 

Of the 30 names on this list, 25 are self made. And of the 25 that are self made, 10 made their billions in the last 10 years in the tech space. What’s also interesting, is that the combined total of employees that these dropouts employ is well over 1 million. And of this number of employees, a vast number of them have college degrees. Ironic, no?

Don’t Rush to Quit School

Interesting and inspiring selection I think you will agree. Not all are complete dropouts – some actually have pretty impressive academic achievements to their name but alas the call of their Entrepreneurial Ventures took them to leave those studies and instead go on to create considerable wealth plus businesses that in some case have touched Billions of people.

One entrepreneur who in particular impressed me was Michael Dell – who started a computer company called PCs Limited while attending the University of Texas in Austin. It became so successful that Dell dropped out of school to operate it, and the company eventually became Dell, Inc, with revenues of $56.94 billion in 2013. In 2006, Dell and his wife gave a $50 million grant to the University which he attended but never graduated from.

One remarkable fact I noted when compiling this list, was the number of businesses that started of in a garage. Take for example the HP corporation which started life in a tiny 12×18 foot garage. And then there is also Google and Apple who started life in a garage.

And the Most Notable Young Entrepreneurs Of Recent Times?

Well it is Mark Zuckerberg of course.

Facebook Founder, Mark Zuckerberg has an estimated net worth of nearly $34 billion and believed by some to be the wealthiest man younger than 35 in the USA. Mark Zuckerberg, like Bill Gates, is a Harvard dropout.

After launching Facebook school-wide from his dorm room at Harvard in February 2004, Zuckerberg began devoting more and more time to his program, gradually spreading it to other schools. By that summer, Zuckerberg and his roommate Dustin Moskovitz had released Facebook to nearly 30 schools, and the website was growing too popular to be run part-time.

This post is dedicated to Chad

We recently received an email from a mother concerned not only with the happiness and motivation of her son, but the type of ‘formal’ education he was receiving. She felt her child needed to be inspired and found a similar article to be just that.


Even if this list makes a difference to one life, it’s worth doing.

Where to go from here

Retireat21 is packed with helpful information and advice from some of the leading entrepreneurs in the world. For inspiration I would suggest you read some of our high profile interviews and check out our young entrepreneur rich list!

About Michael Dunlop

I'm Michael, I created this site back in 2009 and since then it's received over a million visitors from all around the world. We offer tutorials and inspiration for online entrepreneurs wanting to achieve more. I created Popup Domination, which has over 23,000 customers. I also created IncomeDiary. In total, over 10,000,000 people have read my blogs.

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92 comments so far… Leave a reply

  1. Rachna

    Very interesting post Michael, love your site!

    • Melissa Michaels

      Great comment!

  2. Michael

    Thanks Rachna! Means a lot coming from you.

  3. Brandon Eley

    It's important to note that most of these people didn't quit school until they were already successful. The truth is that the vast majority of college students (i.e. 99.999%) will never reach this level of success. Finishing college gives you something to fall back on later in life if things don't go your way. It's also worth noting that many of these people are Harvard or Stanford dropouts... and their families were worth considerable amounts of money before they ever went into business. It almost sounds like this post is encouraging college students to drop out by showing all the successful entrepreneurs who have "made it," when the vast majority of new businesses fail.

    • Mohamed Cassim

      Hi Brandon, My dear friend, now education and medicine are industries, businesses just like any other businesses. That's what 99.999% are not reaching that success after years of hard studies and spending thousands. I know it, why I without any money and with little education with my raw sweat, tears and hard work, I started a small business about ten years ago and built it up to three world class factories employing over 700 workers among them many are college graduates. This sums up present day college education, the bold and brave always conquer the world, come what may, with or with out education - its always the rock hard will and determination to achieve some thing for them and the society push them to this heights which the college graduates lack, most of them simply think the college degree would bring every thing.

  4. Abdulrehman

    Great post, by the way Graham is 23, not 21!

  5. Stephen

    Wow. Bill Gates is a dropout?!

  6. Shonika Proctor, Teen Biz Coach

    @Brandon, Well said. And if I may add, you sometimes hear of remarkable stories of people who quit whatever they were doing to pursue something like music, acting or sports careers. And entrepreneurship is the same but different. Yes, you should fully pursue your passion, but I think Seth Godin says it best when he says that 'You don't know what people will take to.' So just because Mark Zuckerberg created Facebook doesn't mean if you decide to go out and build a better, cooler version that people will jump to that. You just never know what will excite people. Also, most people who tend to want to support you in your endeavors (financial or otherwise) focus more on what you have done vs. what you will do. So it helps to have some track record of your success. What you think is cool is relative. People basically will take you more seriously if they see that you have produced something and are showing slow and steady sales growth. And lastly, the people who are most successful also realize that everything around them is a tool to their success, not an obstacle. Your school is a resource. Your community is a resource. Your parents and your friends parents are resources. Remember how Facebook got started---within the university with the primary target audience being college students. So in some respects Mark Zueckerberg was still managing the resources that he had alloted to him at that time. So folks, bottom line, choose to run to something not from something in your entrepreneurial pursuit. And best wishes to all of you emerging entrepreneurs regardless of your personal or professional endeavors. @teenbizcoach

  7. Yan Susanto

    What a powerful list, Michael! You've set the bar higher for Retire@21. It's definitely worthy of Digg or Stumble. Yan PS: Coincidentally, I dropped out of college too so hopefully I could get into the list soon.

  8. Michael Dunlop

    Shonika, great point! A lot of people do dropout and work really hard and never make it! You have to have a plan b... just in case. Yan, Thanks very much mate! Hopefully we will see both of us on the list soon.

  9. Charlie

    Good post, $59 billion for Bill Gates :O

  10. Katie

    I like the fact that all these people have been so successful and did not complete college. I like that the majority still make money online today with their big venture or side shifted slightly to another area. It shows that it is possible for anyone to make money and progress to something exceptional

  11. Ben Jacob

    Do you think that Larry Page and Jerry Yang where drop outs when they found their company ? I don't think so, They must be Graduates then.

  12. Michael

    Actualy Ben they had to drop out of College to work on their business, when they became a success they completed their courses. Thanks Katie and Charlie!

  13. Robby G

    @Yan: Just give it time, it'll come. Keep up the good work as you've been doing and it's bound to happen. Best of luck to everyone. Nice post.

  14. Top 30 College Drop Outs Who Made It Big In Business : COED Magazine

    [...] To celebrate us college dropouts I thought I would compile a list some of the top entrepreneurs who dropped out of college and then went on to make it big in the business world! [Retire At 21] [...]

  15. acompanhantes

    always looking for something interesting subject and always think. thanks and great job acompanhantes

  16. player

    Wow, impressive list. Although dropouts, they certainly didn't lack in the brainpower category. Or, the work ethic....

  17. Randy

    i like it keep it up but where is the info the black entrepreneurs like myself i need more info on like how and where to get funding.

  18. Alvin Yudistira

    Outstanding posting, keep your great work Michael.

  19. wert

    great post mic.

  20. Best CSS Gallery

    Great post! Really interesting and inspiring selection.

  21. Xscape

    Yea, to reiterate what Brandon said, don't take this has motivation TO drop out of school. I believe a statistic said that 90% of small business owner creators had a college degree. If you're able to find success, then run with it, but don't believe the road to success is dropping out.

  22. James Rayers

    It's a nice list but how do people who graduated qualify for a college dropout list?

  23. dhiren

    Nice post. But how could you miss out the legendary Dhirubhai Ambani?

  24. Creative Writing Tips

    James, I was thinking that they probably got their degrees AFTER their business became hugely successful from dropping out. This list just reinforces the power of the technology industry. So many big tech companies were created by people who just had a dream and a desire to pursue it.

  25. Play Games Win Prizes

    The thing is with some of these guys is that they had money in the background of their life already, so none of this success really mattered to them. -Mike

  26. ByronOrpheus

    It's worth noting that co-founder Jack Smith didn't just drop out of college, he flunked out. 12 years later he sold Hotmail to Microsoft for $400,000,000.

  27. RetireAt21: Young Entrepreneurs Making Money Online - Review » Blogussion

    [...] Most of the inspirational writings are posted there, and even more list posts. Awesome lists like The Most Successful College Dropouts in History, and others are posted there a lot. Like I said before, RetireAt21 is huge on motivating you to [...]

  28. Some Other Cool Crap Around The Internet Before You Go To Bed | GuyFix - F*ck Work!!! Be Entertained.... Entertainment. Gadgets. Cars. Guy Stuff...


  29. Marketing Man

    There is hope for non-conformists, it seems! My favourites amongst these are Matt Mullenweg (I really love WordPress and its success is only but a taste of things to come!) and Jawed Karim.

  30. Marting Lewis

    With a bit of luck, some of these guys will become professors at a University of Real Life.

  31. jheLo

    This is very much impressive! It's very surprising that those people behind the most successful names in I.T. are college dropouts back then.

  32. Bob Wainner

    For Brandon Eley above: Scott Wainner's Father, I can promise you, that Scott did not come from a WEALTHY FAMILY...Scott is a total self-made man. Got his 1st computer at the young age of 6 and he was hooked! He developed 2 successful websites while he was in High School. You might also be interested to learn that Scott earned his pilot's license in a Cessna aircraft at the age of 15...he's just a very bright young man. But, I think the thing that makes my Son so successful is that he is very "grounded" and keeps his success in "perspective". He is now 31 and has 4 very successful websites...along with a very successful book he co-authored about "over-clocking computers"...can you tell his Father is very proud of his Son?! *smile*

  33. Mindie

    How about the women?

  34. Juan Jones @ Make money online free

    Very good post. I hope to see my face up there someday.

  35. Scott Duncan

    I am looking for exactly the information on this post for my winners bible... the bit with the heroes and mentors in it... I did not steal the photo's, I am just looking for inspiration.

  36. Hack James

    It made me laugh knowing that the hottest site of today (Facebook) was created by a college dropout.

  37. Stella

    Going to college does not determine anything except that the student will spend countless hours in a classroom following someone else's lesson plan (for better or for worse) and either spending a lot of money or securing plenty of scholarship for it. Now comes the time of the autodidact. At the end of the day, who's going to get commissioned for work? Who will have the knowledge and motivation? The "renaissance men" or the "formally educated" people? Whichever ones learn and apply out of a sense of wonder. The money and jobs are a byproduct of a deep curiosity in pure research that drives us on. Every dropout on this page, no matter his trade or business, is a scientist with a vision. Of course, life's comforts can be obtained from other viewpoints, but the emptiness is felt despite any material aquisition.

  38. Stella

    And, yes, Mindie, how about the women? ;)

  39. Kantis Simmons

    Hey Michael, Great looking redesign. Love your content and this article. This article and this topic has been baffling me the last few months because I work heavily in the school industry. As an Academic Success Strategies who delivers speeches and develop resources for students to succeed in school (and a recipient of many college degrees myself) many students need to understand both the concepts of Education and HUSTLE! Working smart, staying focused, and sticking to a plan is something that needs to be re-emphasized in our school systems over and over. The perception that having a college degree or getting and education is the Key to success is so NOT true. But its the application of the things you learn in school plus smart hustle with diligence is the key to amazing success. Great article and thanks for all you do Michael. ** And yes where are the women?

  40. Brandon

    nice list, but I do have a question... the list is about college drop outs, not people who graduated college (i.e. Larry Page, and Jerry Yang) they shouldn't be in the list if you are talking about college drop outs... why put them in the list?

  41. aditia

    Wew, Matt Mullenweg and Kevin Rose I never though about them leaving college, btw great post michael

  42. Azad Shaikh

    Awesome list man. I was too thinking of dropping out of my college but i didn't. What are the chances of success for non dropouts. LOL Thanks!

  43. stephanie

    wow. i cant believe they're all drop outs..inspirational! well, as they say, you only get to use 10% of your learning in the classroom in real life. i like your posts..really interesting. keep it up!

  44. diana

    that Jared guy is my new business hero !

  45. Man

    List was good, but if you see lot of those business are having a shaky ground, they will wipe out in next few years and even there wealth, there is lot of competition in the market to be success. You don't need to drop out from any school to be success, what you need is a out of the box thinking brain.

  46. Amit kumar

    Hi Really great post ...they are really heroes of the internet world ....

  47. Aaron Darko

    WOW, So many people didnt know these guys quit uni. So inspiring to know that you too can be one of these mega successes. Always remember this, whats possible for one is possible for all

  48. Stclair

    Michael, Thanks a billion for this site and these articles. I had to quit school due to financial reasons and plan on finishing but success doesn't come from following someones curriculum, it comes from following your heart and being driven to succeed. I will be on this list sooner than later.

  49. Suds

    Another college dropout/entrepreneur/billionaire/genius is Rush Limbaugh. He's estimated to be worth at or just over a billion dollars.

  50. francesco

    you should mention Gurbaksh Chahal too He left school at 16 and sold his first company at 18 for 40 millions and his second company for 300 millions (bluelithium) to yahoo

  51. thushy

    very nice post, good to a lot of the high tech guys are drop out's, but in my case nothing happen so far :)

  52. Maryagirl

    Its hard to believe but I know some of the college dropouts who is very successful in their career now. Thanks for sharing this, I really like your blog and i really appreciate the excellent quality content you are posting here.

  53. Amandeep Singh

    A very inspiring an informative post Michael :) They rock the internet :)

  54. Raizel

    Hey - for strong fantastic black entrepreneurs, I think Farrah Gray is a super person to model - read his books - adopt his winning 'can do', positively focused attitude - this is a common theme for every single person on this list as well. The amount or type of education is somewhat coincidental. It's the attitude, drive, and positive focus that ends up creating the success. No one ever accused Ford of having a 'proper education' - in fact many people who Did have the 'proper education' accused him of not 'being smart enough' to be so successful! I tool I love that has really helped me 'retrain my brain for success' is regularly playing Robert Kiyosaki's Rich Dad Poor Dad "Cashflow 101"- lots of fun and totally worth the time put in. I am female and I have gone from a lifetime of negative cashflow and debt to just now (in this economy) starting to see positive cashflow and my pathway to spiral up to success. The key is not the external education, but how you push to learn for yourself and get into action, make your mistakes faster and learn to build and maintain feeling good and having a positive attitude regardless of what is externally "happening." My world started shifting in a success direction once I accomplished these foundations inside myself. I am training my 3 teenage daughters in this path also. Michael, THANK YOU for your inspiring information and attitude. It really helps!

  55. Ryan

    You're missing Mike Lazaridis. Net worth $1.7 Billion. Dropped out of the University of Waterloo to start Research in Motion, the developer of the Blackberry

  56. Usama

    So dropping out means success doesn't it? No, passion, hard work, research and originality means success.

  57. Mads

    Janus Friis, the co-founder of Skype was a high school dropout too. ref. You write on this page that he is worth $1.3 Billion, so he takes a 16th place. Thank you for a great website. Mads

  58. EDdys VElasquez

    Loving all these lists!! woo! Keep posting them :)

  59. allen

    One missing is gurbaksh chahal he dropped out at 16 becuase he start a business and sold it for 40 million and then made another business and sold it for 300 million :)

  60. Javad

    Great post Micheal. Very inspiring!!

  61. ela

    nice! so inspirational! keep it up! this site is cool! :)

  62. martin delolmo

    i want to know if there is anyone out there that can help a church with a school and a security company.all non succeed in life and be well known thru out the world.please help.god bless

  63. Sudhir Ranjan Chaudhury

    Great work......Michael...very motivating stuff!

  64. stanley

    great work mate, someday i hope to be in this list, though am a graduate never wish to be a drop out. school is good thats where you get the basic knowledge of how to start......

  65. stanley

    nice one mate, you are a great guy, but school is the basics to starting any bussiness.....

  66. Greg

    Impressive list. Thanks for making this post available on your blog. You are doing a great job.

  67. jhon

    Larry Page is not a dropout, he was a Phd candidate.

  68. Mightee

    i didn't know that larry page was also a dropout and he is just years old and CEO of Google amazing :O

  69. James

    Hi this is so awesome. i have dropped out of college, and started my own youtube show on youtube. check it out


    Helo Micheal,i realy enjoy your work,just keep it up,i thin k you have touched and changed many life through posting,i thank GOD for you guy,but i need a solution to my problem,i think the only software i can use is only joomla but i don't realy know most of the extensions and there work,please can you just help me on the type of software i can use that will be more easy for me to get a profesional site like incomdiary or retire21

  71. antispyware

    your blog is very informative. keep blogging.

  72. Master Elvis

    that is such an inspirational article..hope we also get to be so great as we also start out....

  73. fazal mayar

    This is a catchy title, the term '' College Dropout '' seems to shock people as it gives message to people that he had hard times in life or he ruined his life but he survived! And he is now successful! Good list.

  74. Fisayo @ Secrets of Entrepreneurship

    Great list Mike, Thanks for the inspiration.

  75. Example

    It is not just drive that makes these people successful. Nor is it luck. It is hustle. It is a crazy concoction of skill, luck, and hustle. My favorite of these entrepreneurs is Russell Simmons. It says something that he did not build a technology, but helped build a lifestyle. I wish that Hollywood would make documentaries on each of these guys. I love the list. Thanks!

  76. notadropout

    I must say great post and guess what I m too old and too late to see this. Anyhow, In India we have many successful businessman with no education at all. They eventually learn the trick.I did a research and found surprisingly most dint do basic schooling. Though they do not own billion dollars but they own millions at least. Some of them are in to heavy equipment manufacturing which to my surprise need basic education. However, it all comes down to who learns more to do great business and the above greats show education in college is not necessary, right attitude is! Great post!! And yeah good to see Subash Chandra there.

    • Sanaulislam

      You are right

  77. kenal

    This is inspiration. All it took was a billion dollar idea and hard work.

  78. Rick

    What's most interesting to me is how quickly the decline of American industrialization came (Henry Ford) after the Gate's era, and our prized GDP is Facebook. Just how far off course can we drift before a melt down. At some point folks will grow old of all this gadget tech and social media stuff. As for the education, well it's a good thing, but once your able to read and comprehend there is little to stop anyone from expanding knowledge on your own. As for the recent economic decline, it's at the hands of the wildly well educated and they have failed hugely. Raw materials into finished product, that's how you build a nation, just ask Mr. Ford.

  79. Giselle

    Wow no love for the females huh? ;-)

  80. Utah Saint

    Cannot believe Henry Ford would have been worth so much more than Bill Gates or anyone else on the list!

  81. puttaraja bv

    All are college expelled or droped out.. but I have been expelled from a company (I don't want to mention the company), I am very impressed after seeing this list of great peoples... I think my name also will be jn this list from 5 years from now... Hmmm Puttaraj bv

  82. Ronie

    cool this will help with my project thanks but i think you need to update steve jobs is dead...

    • Josh

      I think most people know.

  83. chris mophart

    Chase your dreams or help someone chase theirs!!

    • David Aston

      Create greatness one way or another!

  84. Wally Day

    Hi. I'm a long ways from being a billionaire, but I do OK. I too 'left' college in the middle of my junior year to pursue my first tech job as a computer operator. I discovered that I enjoyed working - even 20 hour days - FAR more than being bored in a classroom or lecture hall. I think some people like to learn, and others like to be taught. I fall into the first category. Thanks for the article.

    • David Aston

      Inspiring comment Wally, thanks for sharing! Keep on grinding, and let us know when you're ready to be on the list ;)

  85. Martina

    Good for inspiration :) I'm one who hasn't even gone to college, but I already know that I just can't stand working for someone else. I don't regret not going. As for the email you shared from the person whose son was called slow and retarded by his teacher, it reminded me of Les Brown who was also deemed retarded. It makes me sad to know some teachers tear their students down when they're supposed to encourage them to make the most out of their lives. I was fortunate enough to have mostly good teachers.

  86. Vikas Avnish

    if you have business mind and you can accomplish it, you do not need a college degree. Education and application of education is important and anyone who can do it is successful

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