12 Billionaires Who Didn’t Graduate From College


A majority of kids and adults firmly believe with the idea that you need to have a college degree in order to get a good job and make money. They believe that a successful life and career are dependent on having a college degree. Especially now that we live in a very competitive world.

While it may be true for some people and some jobs, it certainly does not apply to everyone. There will always be exemptions to the rules. Believe it or not, some of the most successful people in the world did it without finishing college. Here is a list of some of the richest people without a diploma and how they did it.



I mean, who doesn’t know this guy? Mark Zuckerberg is a Harvard dropout and is one of the youngest members of the billionaire club. He is a computer programmer and Internet entrepreneur. He is also the chairman, chief executive officer, and co-founder of Facebook.

While studying at Harvard, he worked with his friends to create Facebook. At the beginning, it was exclusive only to Harvard students. But then it grew to all college campuses in the U.S. And eventually, Facebook became open to anyone, that is to the billion people around the globe who has access to the internet. The social medial platform became a huge success. Mark Zuckerberg became a billionaire at the age of 23.


Michael Dell is the founder and CEO of Dell, Inc. He started a small business when he was a freshman pre-med student at the University of Texas. He would create and sell upgrade kits for personal computers out of a room in one of the residential buildings. He even managed to bid on contracts for the State of Texas. He eventually won many bids because he did not have to pay for a storefront.

In 1999, Michael and Susan Dell created the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation, which focuses on grants, urban education, childhood health, and family economic stability. On October 12, 2015, Dell Inc. announced its plan to obtain the enterprise software and storage company EMC Corporation. At $67 billion, it has been identified the “highest-valued tech acquisition in history”. The takeover was finalized on September 7, 2016.


Christy Walton is the widow of John T. Walton. John T. Walton was one of the sons of Sam Walton, the man who created Walmart. In June 2005, she inherited her husband’s fortune after his death in a plane crash.

Forbes reported that she was the richest woman in the world for eight years running, and still held the title in March 2015. Her huge net worth comes mostly from the shares that she holds in Walmart. But, her husband also invested in First Solar, which became a successful company. She is also one of the biggest female philanthropists.


Bill Gates is probably one of the most recognizable and well-known billionaires on the planet, mostly because he is the wealthiest person in the world. He went to Harvard but eventually dropped out when his friend encouraged him to co-found Microsoft.

Their new company started by producing a BASIC interpreter for Altair. Microsoft BASIC became a huge success and the company continued to write programming language software for other systems. And the rest is history.


Liliane Bettencourt is a French heiress, socialite, and businesswoman and the only child of Eugene Schueller, the founder of L’Oreal. When Liliane was 15, she joined her father’s company as an apprentice. She started out mixing cosmetics and labeling shampoo bottles. She inherited the company when her father died in 1957. She made the company public in 1963, but retained a majority stake. She also turned half her stake into stock in Nestle in 1974.

She is the richest woman in the world, making her the eleventh richest person in the world with a net worth of US$36.1 billion, as of the 2016 version of “The World’s Billionaires”. With a peak net worth of more than 40 billion, she is the richest woman in history.


Ingvar Kamprad started his life in business as a young child. He learned that he could buy matches in bulk for cheap and then sell them individually to make a profit. He went from matches to fish, seeds, Christmas tree decorations, from pens and pencils. In 1943, he founded IKEA on his uncle’s kitchen table. In 1948, he expanded and added furniture. From there the company grew and is now recognized worldwide.

In an interview a French-language Swiss TV broadcaster, Ingvar is said to drive a 1993 Volvo 240, flies only economy class, and encourages IKEA employees to use both sides of a piece of paper. He also recycles tea bags and is known to pocket the salt and pepper packets at restaurants. He has also been known to visit IKEA for a “cheap meal” and is known for buying Christmas paper and presents in post-Christmas sales.


Amancio Ortega Gaona is the founding chairman of the Inditex fashion group, which is known for the clothing chain, Zara. He started working in his teens as a shop helper for a local shirt maker. At the age of 44, he founded Confecciones Goa, that sold quilted bathrooms made by women from sewing cooperatives. He opened his first Zara store in 1975. The Inditex group now owns several brands and more than 6,000 stores and has more than 92,000 employees.


He is currently the richest person in Europe, and the second richest person in the world, as of 15 January 2017. Ortega keeps a very low profile and, until 1999, no photograph of him had ever been published and is known for his preference for a simple lifestyle. He declines to wear a tie and typically wears a simple uniform of a blue blazer, white shirt, and gray pants, none of which are Zara products. He is also said to take a very active part in the production and design process in the company.


Leonardo Del Vecchio is the founder and current chairman of Luxottica. The group is the owner of both Sunglass Hut and Lenscrafters chains with over 7,000 stores and 77,734 employees. He is the richest man in Italy and 37th richest person in the world.


As a child, his father died five months before his birth and he was given up to an orphanage because his mother could not provide for him financially. He started his career as an apprentice to a tool and die maker and later turned his metalworking skills to making spectacle parts. So he moved to Agordo in the province of Belluno, which is home to most of the Italian eyewear industry. In 1967 he started selling complete eyeglass frames under the Luxottica brand.


Paul Allen got a 1600 on his SAT and went to Washington State University but dropped out after two years in order to work as a programmer for Honeywell. He later convinced his old friend Bill Gates into dropping out of Harvard in order to form Microsoft in 1975. In 1980, they promised to provide IBM with a DOS for the IBM-PC. This contract spearheaded the company to dominate the PC market.

He also has a multibillion-dollar investment portfolio including technology and media companies, real estate holdings, and stakes in other companies. He owns two professional sports teams: the NFL Seattle Seahawks and the NBA Portland Trail Blazers. He is also part-owner of the Seattle Sounders FC, which in 2009, joined Major League Soccer.


Roman Abramovich is the main owner of Millhouse LLC and is best known as the owner of the Chelsea Football Club. He started his multibillion-dollar business during his army service. And after a brief assignment in the Soviet Army, he married his first wife, Olga.

Abramovich first worked as a street-trader and then as a mechanic at a local factory. At the peak of perestroika, he sold imported rubber ducks from his Moscow apartment. He then set up a company making dolls with his wife, and then within a few years, his investments spread to oil conglomerates and pig farms. He then started investing in other businesses.


Ralph Lauren attended Baruch College to study business, but he dropped out after two years. In 1966, he designed a wide-style necktie that he had seen in Europe, but the idea was refused by the company he worked for.

So he started his own company, taking rags and turning them into ties. He sold the ties in small shops, and in 1967 he opened his own necktie store. The following year he expanded to open a Polo boutique. He is also well known for his collection of rare automobiles, some of which have even been displayed in museum exhibits.


David Geffen attempted college numerous times, but never managed to stay long. He worked in the mailroom of the William Morris Agency and later became a talent agent. He then left the company and became a personal manager. After having a few successful artists, he was encouraged to start his own record label. So he founded Asylum Records in 1970 and Geffen Records in 1980. He also created Geffen Film Company and co-founded Dreamworks SKG.

After having a few successful artists, he was encouraged to start his own record label. So he founded Asylum Records in 1970, Geffen Records in 1980, DGC Records in 1990 and co-founded Dreamworks SKG in 1994. His donations to the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and other educational and research donations have extended his fame beyond the entertainment industry.

How cool is it to be a billionaire? Even cooler if you didn’t have to go to college. We’re not encouraging you not to go to college but this only proves that college is not the only road to success.

These billionaires definitely didn’t get their wealth easily as we’ve read but it takes a brilliant mind and strong will to be able to achieve their status and success.