No Education Required: 8 Billionaire Dropouts : Under30CEO No Education Required: 8 Billionaire Dropouts : Under30CEO
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No Education Required: 8 Billionaire Dropouts

| September 9, 2009 | 10 Comments

Kirk Kerkorian

The father of the “megaresort” this high school dropout shaped Las Vegas to the destination it is today.  Buying 80 acres on the strip for a measly $960,000, with vision like this no wonder he is a billionaire. Kerkorian later opened the MGM Grand Casino and Hotel.  Kerkorian was married to professional tennis player Lisa Bonder, 48 years younger than he, for one week.

François Pinault

French high school dropout created an empire that owned Gucci, Converse, Samsonite and Vail Ski Resort.  Apparently Francois didn’t see the value in education, but thought Gucci was a good buy.  Francois is also said to be the most powerful man in modern art.

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Jack Taylor

The founder of Enterprise Rent-a-car was once enrolled in George Washington University but dropped out to be a fighter pilot in WWII.  Taylor is now the 14th richest man in America.  Taylor has given a $40 million gift to the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra.

jacktaylor

David Murdock

Dropping out of school, dyslexic, homeless, pumping gas, Murdock went to war and came back to start flipping Arizona real estate.  Murdock took over Dole Food Company and his pineapple empire bought him the 6th largest island in Hawaii.

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Donald Newhouse

Newhouse’s media conglomerate started after he dropped out of Syracuse.   He owns part of the Discovery Channel and Learning Channel as well as Conde Naste, which includes Vanity Fair, the New Yorker and Vogue.

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Ralph Lauren

Growing up in the same Bronx neighborhood as Calvin Klein, Lauren was actually born Ralph Lifschitz.   Lauren created his empire by hand, selling neckties to fellow students in high school and for the 2 years he attended college.  He also owns a Ferrari 250 GTO, a McLaren F1 GTR LM, and a Bugatti Veyron.

RalphLauren

Paul Allen

Co-founder of Microsoft and is Chariman of Vulcan Inc which owns over 40 different technology companies.  Dropping out of Washington State, Allen convinced Bill Gates to drop out of Harvard.  Paul’s investment’s include some pretty neat toys including the Seattle Seahawks, Portland Trailblazers and one of the world’s largest yachts at 416 feet.

allen

Larry Ellison

Dropped out of the University of Illinois and eventually went on to start Oracle.  He is known for his extravagance with a $200 million home, $200 million yacht and often gives Acura NSX supercars as gifts.  For his fourth wedding his friend, also a billionaire dropout Steve Jobs was the official wedding photographer.

LarryEllison1-729487

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  • http://travelexperta.com/ marinakvillatoro

    Great post. But you know what I would love to read. About each one of these people and the steps they actual took to get to where they are! I get so inspired by them!

  • http://Under30CEO.com Jared O'Toole

    Very true! We'll have to look into doing some more detailed stories on them.

  • http://thestartupist.com rethansmith

    Just an FYI –

    The picture you have posted of Pinault is actually of Franciose Henri Pinault, who would be Francoise Pinault's son.

    Otherwise it is a decent little showcase you have here. However, the title tends to be a bit misleading. I understand you are trying to grab attention and inspire people – but the level most of these people had in terms of education was very significant. Their formal education may not have lasted beyond high school or college – but they studied and had an extremely deep understanding of their craft/trade/area of expertise which brought them to where they are today.

    Also, it seems that these men realized that their business activity outside of school would take them much further in life than sinking hours into needless classes. This is especially true in the cases of Paul Allen and Larry Ellison. The average college dropout is probably not even capable of putting two lines of software code together. Paul and Larry on the other hand had an excellent grasp on their craft and saw that time spent in college would ultimately hinder their creative success.

  • http://under30ceo.com MattWilsontv

    Thanks for your input Marina, we'll start doing some biography stuff soon and the real stories behind the billions. If these guys did it, so can we.

  • http://under30ceo.com MattWilsontv

    Hey Ethan, thanks for the correction, he looks very much like his father, just a bit younger. I've changed the photo to Francoise Pinault's real picture. I thought it was a fun showcase of people who not everybody knew of–so many people know Jobs, Dell, Gates, etc, so I thought we'd change it up a bit.

    These guys had a lot of guts and applied their brainpower not to earning a degree, but to educating themselves about their industry. Most academics don't understand what it's like to put money on the line, to take risk and to execute a plan… they just study it in books and lectures. It's these guys who developed a track record, a reputation without the fancy degrees, and I commend that.

    Our point here is that anybody who wants it can go out and take it regardless of their situation, just look at David Murdock.

  • http://thestartupist.com Ethan

    Just an FYI –

    The picture you have posted of Pinault is actually of Franciose Henri Pinault, who would be Francoise Pinault's son.

    Otherwise it is a decent little showcase you have here. However, the title tends to be a bit misleading. I understand you are trying to grab attention and inspire people – but the level most of these people had in terms of education was very significant. Their formal education may not have lasted beyond high school or college – but they studied and had an extremely deep understanding of their craft/trade/area of expertise which brought them to where they are today.

    Also, it seems that these men realized that their business activity outside of school would take them much further in life than sinking hours into needless classes. This is especially true in the cases of Paul Allen and Larry Ellison. The average college dropout is probably not even capable of putting two lines of software code together. Paul and Larry on the other hand had an excellent grasp on their craft and saw that time spent in college would ultimately hinder their creative success.

  • http://under30ceo.com MattWilsontv

    Thanks for your input Marina, we'll start doing some biography stuff soon and the real stories behind the billions. If these guys did it, so can we.

  • http://under30ceo.com MattWilsontv

    Hey Ethan, thanks for the correction, he looks very much like his father, just a bit younger. I've changed the photo to Francoise Pinault's real picture. I thought it was a fun showcase of people who not everybody knew of–so many people know Jobs, Dell, Gates, etc, so I thought we'd change it up a bit.

    These guys had a lot of guts and applied their brainpower not to earning a degree, but to educating themselves about their industry. Most academics don't understand what it's like to put money on the line, to take risk and to execute a plan… they just study it in books and lectures. It's these guys who developed a track record, a reputation without the fancy degrees, and I commend that.

    Our point here is that anybody who wants it can go out and take it regardless of their situation, just look at David Murdock.