RAGS TO RICHES
Added on: 30th Dec 2014
This Scottish-American industrialist started to work at a cotton mill
for a 12-hour, 6-days a week job in America when he was only 13
years old after his father lost his jobs as a hand weaver in Scotland.
Hired later as a telegraph messenger at the Pennsylvania Railroad
Company, he was able to climb the corporate ladder where he used
his earnings to invest in ventures that led him to build an empire
in the steel industry including his large-scale philanthropic legacy.
Born to unwed teenage parents in Mississippi, this media mogul wore
dresses that her grandmother made out of potato sacks. After
being molested, she ran away at the age of 13 and became a mother at
14, but her son died in infancy. Sent to live with his father, a barber in
Tennessee, she got a full scholarship in college, won a beauty pageant
and was discovered by a radio station. Her empire is now worth $2.7 billion
which she shares with the world through her philanthropic works.
MARIA DAS GRACAS SILVA FOSTER
Born in the poverty-stricken shantytown of Morro do Adeus, Brazil to
an alcoholic father, she earned extra money by collecting cans and
paper to continue her studies. She broke the barriers of the corporate
ladder when she was hired as an intern at Petrobras, an oil company,
in 1978 and became the first female head of the department of
engineering. She also became one of the world’s most influential
people as the first female CEO of Petrobras.
During the Great Depression, Sam Walton and his family lived on a
farm in Oklahoma where he milked the family cow and delivered bottles
to customers to make ends meet. He joined JC Penny three days after
graduating from the University of Missouri with a BA Economics degree.
After WW II, with capital of $25,000 that he borrowed from his father
along with the $5,000 that he saved from the army, he bought a
Ben Franklin variety store which he expanded into the retailer giant
Walmart and the membership-only retailer warehouse Sam’s Club.
Born without knowing his real father, he was driven out of his home
by his abusive stepfather. He enlisted in the Navy and later became a
medical supplies salesman. Due to the slump in his job and with his own
family to support, he became interested in stock broking after seeing a
stockbroker with a Ferrari. His travails of sleeping in a subway station
bathroom, being homeless, passing the licensing exam for stockbrokers,
and becoming employed by Bear Sterns was documented in his memoirs,
“The Pursuit of Happiness,” which became a hit movie as well.
Living on a farm most of his growing up years, this Swedish
business magnate had always been known for being enterprising
even at a young age as he bought matches in bulk and sold them
individually to his neighbours. This expanded to fish, pens and
Christmas decorations. He also used the cash reward that his father
gave him for good grades and used this to create a mail-order business
that became the retail company IKEA. Furniture became the company’s
biggest seller, which made him one of the richest men in the world today
having a net worth of $3 billion.
Joanne Rowling, a native of Yate, Gloucestershire in England moved
to Porto, Portugal in 1990 when her mother died. While she was already
writing the Harry Potter novel even before her mother’s death, the
seven-year period that followed entailed a divorce from her husband in
1993, a move to Edinburgh, Scotland and a life with a daughter living
on welfare while suffering from clinical depression until she finished the
first book in her famous series, “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone”
in 1997. She was able to finish it by writing on scraps of tissue paper
from the numerous cafes they visited to let her daughter sleep.
With over 400 million books and the worldwide success of the
Harry Potter franchise JK Rowling’s net worth is $1 billion.
James Eugene Carrey was born in Ontario, Canada to a middle-income
family where his musician father worked as an accountant. However,
things got worse for his family when his father lost his job and they
all had to move to Scarborough. He worked at the Titan Wheels Factory
for eight hours a day while attending school, but never finished high
school. While living in a camper van, he started doing stand-up routines
and eventually landed a gig in the sitcom The Duck Factory. He first
gained recognition in 1990 when he became one of the casts in the sketch
comedy ‘In Living Colours.’ He later moved on to movies and became
one of the highest paid comedians in America.
The son of a Lithuanian immigrant taxi driver, his mother ran a
knitting store from their home. He grew up in a tenement where he
shared a bedroom with his parents and three siblings, started
selling newspapers at the age of 12, and started his candy-vending
machine business at the age of 16. Though he tried his hand at
various enterprises from packing hotel toiletries to mortgage brokering
his biggest break came from developing a computer trade show.
He purchased the Sands Hotel & Casino and later the mega-resort,
The Venetian, from the profits of his ventures pegging his net worth
at around $21.8 billion.