The Biggest Rags-To-Riches Success Stories of All Time


People who believe they need something to build an empire here are the biggest success stories of all time who had less than something to start out with, but with their absolute determination climbed the mountain peaks.

Walt Disney

He is still known to make one’s childhood super entertaining. He was brought up on a farm and drew pictures for his neighbors for some cash in return. Disney became the cartoonist for the school newspaper. Walt Disney was unemployed and no one hired him. His brother had to step in to help him search for a job. He started out with advertisements from where his journey began of transformation from rags to riches. He later went on to animate his own cartoons.

Henry Ford

Here is another farm boy who is known to revolutionize the American transportation industry. From a young age, Henry Ford was interested in mechanics. He became a self-taught watch repairman when he dismantled and mend his father’s pocket watch that he had given him, at the age of 15. Ford graduated to become a trainee machinist. He started his own experiments on gasoline engines which mark the advent of the colossal Ford Empire. His net worth according to 2008 Forbes is $188.1 billion.

Steve Jobs

The Apple founder was given away by his biological parents for adoption. His foster father introduced him to technical mending and repairing fun in the garage which caught his interest. He dropped out of college as his education expense was too much for his foster parents. Steve returned Coke bottles for money. He used to survive on free meals from the Hare Krishna Temple. Jobs began from being an Atari Inc. technician to becoming the CEO of Apple Inc.

Ralph Lauren

He was born with massive dreams, in a strict Jewish family and to a father who was a house painter. He sold ties to his classmates to earn some money. He declared in his yearbook that he wanted to become a millionaire. His interests in ties helped him to step into the world of fashion. His fame began since he signed on to design the clothes for ‘The Great Gatsby’.

Richard Branson

Branson was a dyslexic child not being able to perform as expected in school. But now Richard Branson’s net worth is of 4.6 billion as British’s business tycoon making him UK’s fourth richest citizen. His entrepreneurship is an example to all of being unconventional yet capable of drawing vast revenue.

John Paul DeJoria

Paul was born into an Italian and Greek immigrant family. The billionaire when he was nine sold newspapers to support his family. He lived in a foster home and had been part of a street gang. He did not have a steady employment. He took a loan of $700 and started well known to the world, Paul Mitchell line of hair products. He also owns 70% of the Patron Spirits Company which is the world’s premium mega tequila brand.

Oprah Winfrey

Oprah was born to a housemaid and a coal miner. Her life began with poverty. She wore clothes made out of potato sacks and was even molested by relatives. She acquired the job of a news reader in the local black radio station after which she stepped into the media world. This TV personality never had to look back after getting hold of her first talk show in Chicago.

Daymond John

No one imagined this black boy growing up in Queens to become the CEO of the hip-hop clothing brand FUBU. However, he refined his entrepreneurial skills since he was in school. He sold popular wool hats at half the market price and later mortgaged his house for future expansion of his business. It all worked well and now he is one of the highly influential motivational speakers in America.

J.K. Rowling

Rowling was born in a poor English family. She battled against poverty, depression and suicidal tendencies and became one of the fond British authors in the world. She had extraordinary imaginary skills and by taking inspiration from her surroundings and people she came out with the Harry Potter book series which is now an immensely popular movie franchise. She embarked from poor surrounding to now becoming one of the most powerful women in the United Kingdom.

Chris Gardner

The Will Smith starred movie ‘The Pursuit of Happiness’ is inspired by the life of Chris Gardner. Gardner was physically abused by his stepfather when he was young and was later placed in a foster home. His struggle continued even after he grew up, married and became a father. As the movie presents, Gardner was raising a kid and battled with being homeless. The lessons he learned from his mother was the reason behind his strength to bring the change in his life and he built himself into the CEO of his own stock brokerage company, Gardner Rich, and Co.

(Photo Credit:, TheCityInfluencer)