MORE RAG TO RICHES
Added on: 2nd Jan 2015
The Armenian-born Kirk Kerkorian grew up at the time of the
Great Depression, where he learned English on the street and
dropped out of 8th grade to become an amateur boxer. He became
a daredevil pilot for the Royal Air Force during WW II and delivered
supplies over the Atlantic flying some of the most perilous routes.
After quitting gambling in 1947, he bought some charter planes
and also engaged in real estate in Las Vegas in 1962. He became the
“father of the mega-resort” when he bought The Flamingo and built
the stalwarts of the Las Vegas scene, The International and MGM
Grand, which made him worth a few billion dollars.
JOHN D. ROCKEFELLER
One of six children born in Richford, New York, Rockefeller might
have inherited his good business sense from his father, a traveling
salesman who used all the tricks to get out of decent hard work
and taught his son to always get the best deal in all things.
His mom struggled to raise them and though they moved a number
of times, he was able to finish school and get his first job as a
bookkeeper where he earned $50 in three months. He decided to
put up a firm and built an oil refinery with his friend Maurice B. Clark
in 1859. He later bought out the Clark brothers’ refinery firm and
renamed it Rockefeller & Andrews. He also founded the Standard Oil
Company to become the world’s first billionaire and the richest
person in history.
LEONARDO DEL VECCHIO
Del Vecchio was sent to an orphanage when his widowed mother
could not support all five of her children. He worked in a factory
that made moulds for auto parts and eyeglass frames where he
lost part of his finger during an accident. He opened his first
moulding shop called Luxottica at the age of 23 which expanded
to be the world’s largest maker of sunglasses and prescription
eyeglasses. Luxottica, the known maker of Ray-Ban and Oakley
eyewear, also owns 6,000 Sunglass Hut and Lenscrafters retail shops.
The second richest man in Italy is now worth $11.5 billion.
Born to a family that fled mainland China for Hong Kong in 1940,
his father died of tuberculosis which made him quit school at the
age of 15 to support his family by working for 16 hours in a factory
that made plastics and plastic flowers for US export. He founded
Cheung Kong Industries in 1950, which manufactured plastics at
first but later on ventured into real estate. The 9th richest person in the
world has ownership in a number of multi-range companies from
cellular phones, banking, satellite television, steel industries,
Howard Schultz came from a poor family living in the Canarsie Bayview
Houses, a housing project in Brooklyn, New York, which made him want
to have a lifestyle beyond what his truck-driver father can provide. As he
saw escape in sport, he became a football scholar at the University of
North Michigan where he graduated with a degree in communication, the
first in his family to do so. While working for Xerox, he discovered a small
coffee shop called Starbucks and became captivated by it. He left Xerox
and became the first CEO of Starbucks in 1987, which he expanded from
its first 60 shops to over 16,000 outlets worldwide, giving him a net
worth of $1.5 billion.
Ursula Burns grew up in a housing project in Manhattan’s Lower East Side,
a hub for gangs. She was raised by her Panamanian-immigrant single
mother who ran a day care centre at her home and ironed shirts
for a fee so that she could send Ursula to Cathedral High School. She
earned her Mechanical Engineering degree at NYU and became an intern at
Xerox. Ursula Burns became the first African-American woman to ever lead
a Fortune 500 Company and the 14th most powerful woman in the world.
JOHN PAUL DEJORIA
Before John Paul Mitchell Systems became a success, its founder,
John Paul DeJoria had a rough life. After his parents divorced when he
was just 2 years old, he sold newspapers and Christmas cards to help
his family until the age of 10 when he was sent to live in a foster home.
An LA gang member before he joined the military, he was also employed
by Redken Laboratories. He loaned $700 and founded JPM Systems to sell
his company’s shampoo door-to-door while living out of his car. Today
JPM Systems’ annual profit is nearly $900 million.
Before Cirque du Soleil came to life, its founder, Canadian-born Laliberté
started his acts in circus as a fire-eater that walks on stilts. His venture
paid off when he brought his successful troupe in 1987 from Quebec to
the Los Angeles Arts Festival with no guarantee of a return fare for the cast.
He now commands a total net worth of $2.5 billion.