10 Richest People Who Did Not Finish College

Published on 11/15/2014

If the recent recession taught us anything it is that nothing is for certain. One of the most disturbing aspects of the recession was the amount of individuals who found themselves out of work for prolonged periods of time despite the fact that they were college graduates who held a marketable degree. The truth of the matter is that there are a lot of things in addition to a college education that will help you find success in life. There is proof of this in the fact that there are many people, very successful, wealthy people in this world who did not attend or finish college or even attempt online college or an online degree and yet were still able to achieve their life goals. You do not necessarily need a phd degree in order to realize your dreams. Here is a rundown of some of the rich and famous who did not go to college or did not finish their college degree.

Mary Kay Ash

Mary Kay Ash is one of the most successful female entrepreneurs that ever spun a tube of lipstick. Founder of the multi-million dollar company, Mary Kay, her name is synonymous with beauty and success. One of the things that helped Mary Kay rocket her cosmetic business into the financial stratosphere was her belief in spreading the success of her company out through her clients. The Mary Kay corporation is built upon the concept of client becomes partners and retailers. Mary Kay never finished her college degree opting rather to get married and then be successful anyway.

Halle Berry

Halle Berry is among the rich and famous who never even attended college. Berry opted rather after high school to move to Chicago and launch herself straight into her Oscar Award winning acting career. Not only has Halle Berry found success in her move roles, however, she is also a spokesperson for Revlon cosmetics.

Michael Dell

You may think that perhaps actors and entrepreneurs can make it without a college degree, but if you want to make it in a field like technology you have no choice but to earn your degree. Well someone forgot to tell Michael Dell CEO of Dell computers. Dell dropped out of college at the tender age of nineteen. Before dropping out of college, though, he began his computer company in his dorm room. As of 2009 he was estimated to be worth about $12.3 billion dollars.

Henry Ford

Not only did Henry Ford not go to college, he did not even finish high school! What could have been seen as a huge disadvantage did not seem to faze this innovative genius. Ford went on to become the founder of Ford Motors, invent the assembly line. It has been said that Henry Ford was one of the most influential and innovative individuals of the entire 20th century. Through use of his assembly line, Ford was able to manufacture and sell cars at the lowest prices, while still making the largest profits in the industry because his sales volume continued to climb year after year.

Bill Gates

Probably one of the most prolific college dropouts of all time, Bill Gates was for many years one of the richest humans on earth, until, through his philanthropy he knocked himself out of that title by literally giving away money. Gates dropped out of Harvard University to create his partnership with Paul Allen. This historic partnership would later become Microsoft. Although Gates did not graduate from college, he does hold a degree. In 2007 Harvard awarded him an honorary doctorate degree. He is believed to be worth about $40 billion dollars.

Rachel Ray

Rachel Ray may be one of the most famous chef’s on television today, but you would never guess that she has had no formal culinary training. Ray never attended college or cooking school of any kind. How did she get her start? The chatty chef started her culinary career by teaching cooling classes at Cowen and Lobel. The gourmet market in Albany catered to high end clientele and the classes Ray taught customers how to create delicious meals in thirty minutes or less. Today Ray is can not only cook the bacon but she certainly brings it home, at about the sum of $19 million a year.

John D. Rockefeller

His very name is synonymous with wealth and success. This oil mogul never even completed high school, but you never could have known it by the clever way he managed his money and his monster business, Standard Oil. The company was so rapidly successful that the United States had to step in and literally break it up so that it did not begin to monopolize the oil industry. Rockefeller may have had humble beginnings, but he is still believed to be one of the richest men in history.

Steven Spielberg

Probably known as one of the best movie directors of all time, Spielberg dropped out of California State University in hopes of getting into film school, where he was also denied admission. Although he had a rocky start, Spielberg eventually went on to found DreamWorks Movie Studios which has produced some of the biggest grossing movies of all time. He is estimated to be worth $3 billion dollars.

Mark Zuckerberg

The man who single handedly changed social interaction forever, did not finish college. Zuckerberg, after borrowing money from PayPal founder Pete Thiel, launched the social networking site which quickly took over the world. Not only did Facebook create an entirely new way to interact with the world, but it also provided one of the most sought after advertising venues around. Even Microsoft took notice in 2008 when they paid $243 million dollars for a 1.6% share. The website is believed to be worth about $15 billion dollars.

Walt Disney

This king of cartoons, is another super successful person who never received a high school diploma. In fact Disney despised high school so much that he wrote a letter to his high school principal outlining just how much he hated it. Disney’s lack of formal education did not stop the innovative creative from going on to realize his animation dreams.