6 billionaire’s journey from rags to riches
Wealth creates wealth, but to create that wealth one need not to be born with silver spoon. Below are fantastic stories of six billionaires, who were once dirt poor. They started in a humble way, but they not only climbed to the top of their industries but also became some of the richest people in the world.
1. Kenny Troutt, the founder of Excel Communications paid his college fees by selling life insurance
Troutt grew up with a bartender dad and paid for his own tuition at Southern Illinois University by selling life insurance. This billionaire made most of his money from phone company Excel Communications, which he founded in 1988. Later, Troutt merged his company with Teleglobe in a $3.5 billion deal.
2. Born into poverty, Oprah Winfrey became the first African American TV correspondent
Oprah Winfrey was born into a very poor family in Mississippi. She experienced considerable hardship during her childhood. She was raped at age nine and became pregnant at 14; her son died in infancy. But nothing could stop her from winning a scholarship to Tennessee State University and becoming the youngest and the first African female TV correspondent. In 1983, Winfrey moved to Chicago to work for an AM talk show which would later be called ‘The Oprah Winfrey Show’, one of the most famous show.
3. Shahid Khan, owner of Flex-N-Gate worked as a dishwasher while studying at University
When Shahid Khan came to the U.S. from Pakistan, he worked as a dishwasher (for $1.20 an hour) while attending the University of Illinois. He’s now one of the richest billionaire person in the world, and now owns Flex-N-Gate, one of the largest private companies in the U.S., the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars, and Premier League soccer club Fulham.
4. Do Won Chang, the founder of Forever 21 worked as a janitor, gas station attendant and in coffee shop
Do Won is a Korean-born American businessman. After moving to America from Korea in 1981, Do Won had to work three jobs at the same time to make ends meet. This billionaire along with his wife opened their first clothing store Fashion 21 in 1984, which later named as Forever 21. Number of stores of Fashion 21 grew to 457 by 2010.
5. Leonardo Del Vecchio, the founder and chairman of Luxottica, the maker of Ray-Ban glasses, grew up in an orphanage and later worked in a factory
As his widow mother couldn’t care for him, Del Vecchio was sent to an orphanage. He later worked in a factory making molds of auto parts and eyeglass frames. At the age of 23, Del Vecchio opened his own molding shop, which expanded to become Luxottica, world’s largest maker of sunglasses and prescription eye-ware with brands like Ray-Ban and Oakle.
6. Larry Ellison dropped out of college and held odd jobs for eight years, before he founded Oracle
Ellison was raised by his aunt and uncle in Chicago. After his aunt died, Ellison dropped out of college and moved to California to work odd jobs for the next eight years. He founded Software Development Laboratories in 1977, which in 1982 officially became Oracle Systems Corporation, which is now one of the largest technology companies in the world and now Ellison is one of the richest billionaires of the world.