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Started From The Bottom: 7 Billionaires Who Were Once Dirt Poor

Having a rich and financially wealthy background isn’t always the only way to the top. In fact, in more occasions than others, individuals with filthy rich backgrounds tend to not be so ambitious, assuming that everything will work out fine as long as they’ve got daddy’s credit card tucked in their pockets. With that being said, some of the world’s richest people started out from the bottom, dirt poor, and ended out on top.

All from very humble beginnings, these 7 people didn’t only climb to the top, becoming industry leaders and visionaries, they became one of the wealthiest people on this planet. Although the rich do get richer, these “started-from-the-bottom” stories truly remind us that, with enough grit, determination and a bit of luck,  anyone can overcome their harsh circumstances and achieve extraordinary things.

Starbucks CEO, Howard Schultz

Net worth:  $2 billion

In an interview with British tabloid Mirror, Schultz said: “Growing up I always felt like I was living on the other side of the tracks. I knew the people on the other side had more resources, more money, happier families. And for some reason, I don’t know why or how, I wanted to climb over that fence and achieve something beyond what people were saying was possible. I may have a suit and tie on now but I know where I’m from and I know what it’s like.”

Schultz acquired his CEO position in 1987 and grew this coffee shop into 16,000 outlets world wide.

The Oprah Winfrey Show, Oprah Winfrey

Net worth$2.9 billion

Born in Mississippi to a very financially burdened family, Winfrey still managed to win a scholarship to Tennessee State University, becoming the first African American TV correspondent at the age of 19. Fast forward to 1983 and Winfrey moved to Chicago to work for an AM talk show, which of course, would later be called “The Oprah Winfrey Show.”

Fullham F.C. Owner, Shahid Khan

Net worth$3.8 billion

Known today as one of the planet’s wealthiest people, this man was fresh off the boat from Pakistan when he arrived to the US to clean dishes while attending the University of Illinois. Presently he now owns Flex-N-Gate, one of the largest private companies in the U.S., the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars, and of course, Premier League football club, Fulham.

Patron Tequila CEO, John Paul DeJoria

Net worth: $4 billion

Before the age of 10, DeJoria actually sold Christmas cards and newspapers to help support his struggling family. Eventually, he was sent to live in a foster home and even spent time in a gang and the military. Today he is the CEO of  Patron Tequila and successfully invests in other startup.

Forever 21 Founder, Do Won Chang

Net worth: $5 billion

After arriving to the US from Korea in 1981, Chang actually had to work three jobs – all at the same time to make ends meet. Eventually he launched his first clothing store in 1984. Today, Forever 21 is a global 480-store empire that cashes in about $3 billion in sales a year.

Ralph Lauren Founder, Ralph Lauren

Net worth: $7.7 billion

Lauren graduated from high school in the Bronx, New York, but managed to drop-out of college to join the Army later on. Though it all went down in  Brooks Brothers, where Lauren worked as a clerk, and started asking himself if men were ready for wider and brighter designs in ties. In 1967 he decided he wanted to fulfill his dream and went all in, ending up making  $500,000 worth of ties. The year after that, the birth of Polo arrived.

Oracle Founder, Larry Ellison

Net worth$41 billion

Born in Brooklyn, New York, Ellison was raised by his aunt and uncle in Chicago. Though after his aunt passed away, he dropped out of college and moved to California where he would work a bunch of crazy jobs. In 1977, he developed a company called Oracle, which as we know, is one of the world’s greatest tech-companies in the world.

Photo Credit: Getty
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