Famous Billionaires With Meager Education


It feels a bit strange that 80% of famous billionaires don’t have a college degree. For centuries it was a custom that if you wanted to be successful then you must be well educated. But living in 2020 and earning mass income, education becomes an old tradition. Well, I’m not provoking children to skip their schools and start making money. But while looking at the Forbes list of billionaires we came across some names who are dropouts from school, But they are making a pretty good fortune compared to the highly educated. I just wonder which idea or force was strong enough to compel them to work. A.P.j Abdul Kalam once said

Dreams are not what you see in sleep, it is the thing that doesn’t let you sleep. 

Their dreams are big enough and required much hard work they had had to leave their education. Not only dreams they carry a vision, an aim which revolutionized the world.

Their vision makes their name enough that they don’t need any introduction. They work so hard and fulfill their visions. Let’s have a look at the top 15 famous billionaires who have meager education.

1. Francois Pinault

Francois Pinault one of the famous billionaires

Francois Pinault, a famous French billionaire businessman, is a high school dropout. He founded the luxury group Kering and the investment company Artemis. Moreover, Pinault was born on 21 August 1936 in Les Champs-Geraux, Cotes d’Armor, Brittany, France. Pinault comes from a rural background and started his career working for his family’s timber business. He dropped out of school at the age of 16 because he was teased for his rural accent and peasant family by his schoolfellows. However, he became one of the famous billionaires because of his dedication.

Pinault’s second marriage with art and antique trader Maryvonne Campbell introduced him to the world of art. He established his business empire by making investments in retail companies. Pinault bought many companies facing bankruptcy like Conforama, Printemps, La Redoute, and Fnac. His son Francois-Henri take over the management of his companies in 2003.  Pinault’s company Pinault-Printemps-Redoute commonly known as (PPR) changed its name to Kering in 2013 and started to take an interest in the luxury industry. Today the company holds Gucci, Saint Laurent, Samsonite, and has a net worth of $32.8 Billion. Pinault never hesitates to give financial donations to the needy and developmental projects. 

2. Harold Hamm

Harold Hamm a famous billionaires

Harold Glenn Hamm is a famous American businessman and entrepreneur and his work rounds the oil and gas business. Hamm was born on December 11, 1945, in Lexington, Oklahoma, the U.S.He started his career by pumping gas and repairing cars. In 1967 at the young age of 21, he founded his own Continental Resources company, Which later made him the CEO of a billion-dollar company. He named his company Shelly Dean after his daughters. Hamm holds a High School Diploma and has a net worth of $18.9 Billion. His source of wealth is Oil and Gas companies.

Hamm’s wealth made him the 79th richest person in the United States. Hamm suffered from two types of Diabetes and give 10 million dollars donation to create the Diabetes Center at the University of Oklahoma. Hamm holds a High School Diploma and has a net worth of $18.9 Billion. His source of wealth is Oil and Gas companies. Hamm also takes part in politics and named as an energy advisor by the 2012 Presidential candidate Mitt Romney. Hamm was awarded honorary degrees from Northwestern Oklahoma State University and the University of Oklahoma.

3. Li Ka-Shing

 Li Ka-Shing drop out billionaire

Sir Li Ka-Shing is a business magnate from Hong Kong and the world’s top investor. Also, he is a high school dropout and one of the famous billionaires with a net worth of $32.6 Billion. His source of income is CK Hutchison Holdings. With the estimated net worth of US$29.4 billion, Shing is the 30th richest person in the world. He was born on 13 June 1928 in Chaon, Chaozhou, Guangdong, China. He dropped out of school at the age of 15 after the death of his father. His first job was in a plastics trading company. It was the toughest job as Shing has to work 16 hours a day.

Initially, Shing learned the technique of plastic flowers by mixing color with plastic. He started working on the project and ended up on the largest supplier of plastic flowers in Asia He started his own company, Cheung Kong Industries in 1950. Now his business portfolio diverse with an open array of industries which includes transportation, retail, real estate, and energy utilities. Shing is one of the strongest and most influential people in Asia but known for his simple lifestyle. Mostly he wears a simple black dress and an inexpensive wristwatch.

4. Jay-Z


Shawn Corey Carter is mostly known as Jay-Z. He was born on December 4, 1969, in Brooklyn, New York City, U.S. He is a famous rapper, songwriter, record executive, entrepreneur, investor, businessman and record producer. Jay and his three siblings were brought up by their mother when his father Reeves abandoned the family. Jay attended Trenton Central High School in New Jersey, but could not manage to graduate. Rapping and music was his passion for childhood.

First of all his mother understands his desire for music and brought him a boombox as a birthday present. He started writing freestyle lyrics. His opted stage name Jay-Z is a tribute to his mother. Jay has to face many struggles at the start of his career as no major label company gives him a breakthrough. So he started selling his CDs  He is the founder of the clothing retailer Rocawear and luxury sports bar chain 40/40 Club. Jay also starts for the entertainment company Roc Nation. Jay-Z’s estimated net worth of $1 billion. He earned his fortune through three decades of a hip-hop career and several business ventures.

5. Zhou Qunfei

Zhou Qunfei famous self made billionaires

Zhou Qunfei, the richest woman of China is also a secondary school dropout. She is the founder of major touchscreen maker lens technology and is one of the famous billionaires. She was born in 1970 in Xiangxiang, Hunan, China. Qunfei comes from a financially weak family. Her father was a former soldier and lost his eyesight in an industrial accident. Qunfei was a brilliant student but left school at the age of 16 to become a migrant worker. She often regrets not studying English bus she has managed to complete many courses like accounting, customs processing, and computer operations.

Qunfei started her career by working for a company that made watch parts. Soon she wanted to quit it but her resignation latter led her to the promotion and a better experience. With the help of her family, Qunfei started her own company for high-quality watch lenses. She founded this company in 1933 at the young age of 22. Quenfei got her breakthrough in 2001 when her company got the contract of making mobile phone screens.  World’s richest self-made woman today holds a net worth of $9.8 billion.

6. Amancio Ortega

Amancio Ortega one of the famous billionaires

Everyone dreams to wear Zara products. Even some people keep savings to shop from Zara. Guess it right we are discussing the great Amancio Ortega. Amancio Ortega Gaona was born on 28 March 1936 in Busdongo de Arbas Leon, Spain. The second wealthiest man of Europe Ortega holds the net worth of $68.3 billion. His father was a railway worker and he comes from a working family. Ortega left the school at the age of 14 and started working in a local shirtmaker shop. Zara’s first store was open in 1975. Actually, Zara was only a part of the Inditex group which briefly called Industria de Diseno Textil Sociedad Anonima.

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Ortega lives a very simple lifestyle and wears no Zara brand. With this superb career, he only gives three interviews. Nobody has seen any picture of him until 1999. Being a generous human being Ortega gives the donation of 300 million euros to Spain to fight against cancer. This amount used to purchase the machines which detect the disease. This action offended many political persons and the only God knows why.

7. Richard Branson

Richard Branson

Sir Richard Charles Nicholas Branson was born on 18 July 1950 in Blackheath, London, England. In the 1970s Branson founded the Virgin group which today holds more than 400 companies in various fields of business. Branson comes from an educated family but his desire to become an entrepreneur makes him restless at a very young age. Branson’s parents always supported him for his ventures. He attended the Stowe School in Buckinghamshire till the age of 16.

Branson suffers from dyslexia and could not perform very well at school. On Branson’s last day at school, his professor told him either you end up in prison or become a millionaire, and consequently, he became one of the famous billionaires. Branson’s first attempt was launching a magazine named Student in 1966. Then there was no turning back for him. His chain of record stores called Virgin Records grows faster and now it is famous as Virgin megastores. Branson has said, “I’m not saying that people shouldn’t go to university if they want to, but simply calling attention to the benefits of learning from the school of life”. In 2007, Time placed him on the list of 100 Most Influential People in The World.

8. Joe Lewis

Joe Lewis one of the famous billionaires

Joseph Lewis was born on 5 February 1937 in Bow, London, UK. He comes from a Jewish family and his father runs a catering business in the West End. Lewis left the school at the age of 15 to help his father. He started his career by selling luxury goods. British businessman became one of the famous billionaires and holds a net worth of $5 billion. Lewis also holds a great collection of Art. His art collection is estimated to be worth $1 billion.

Lewis is the magnet investor in Tavistock Group which owns more than 200 companies in 15 countries. Lake Nona Medical City, Life sciences are major branch examples of Tavistock Group. This year lewis comes under the criticism of the press when his group refuses to pay his workers during the coronavirus pandemic.

9. Alan Sugar

Alan Sugar famous billionaire

Alan Michael Sugar was born on 24 March 1947 in Hackney, East London, England into a Jewish family. He is an Entrepreneur, Media celebrity, author, and politician. Sugar’s father was a tailor in the East End garment industry. He attended the Brooke House Secondary School and also works at greengrocers. But he left the school at the age of sixteen and worked in civil service as a statistician at the Ministry of Education.

Sugar started his career by selling radio aerials for cars and other electrical goods in a van. This business venture led him to the biggest consumer electronics company Amstrad. Sunday Times Rich List 2015 stands him as a billionaire. Press claimed that Sugar had been approached for the Labour party candidate for Mayor of London in 2012. Sugar declined it initially but later got the rank of Lord and a government job. Over this Sugar stated that all he wants to help his government. On the question of if he regrets not getting a formal education, Sugar dismissed the university as “a waste of time”. 

10. Henry Ford

An American industrialist and the founder of the Ford Motor Company was born on July 30, 1863, in Greenland Township, Michigan, the U.S. The biggest credit of Henry Ford was that he converted the automobile industry from an expensive curiosity into an accessible conveyance. Ford’s invention with devices began when his father gave him a pocket watch. He experienced it and gained the reputation of a watch repairman. At the age of 16, Ford left home and came to Detroit and started working as a mechanic. With the passage of time, he came forward with his brilliant ideas as he created assembly-line-enabled-Model T Ford.

Ford was one of the famous billionaires and his net worth would equal to $199 billion in today’s world. His views on education were “A man’s college and university degrees mean nothing to me until I see what he is able to do with them”. The Father of automobiles died on April 7, 1947, in Fair Lane, Dearborn, Michigan, U.S. Father of automobiles revolutionized automobiles in the American transportation industry with his Model T. Ford always focuses on best material and model being used but people can afford their convenience.

11. Liliane Bettencourt

Liliane Bettencourt famous billionaire

 Alee female readers must be interested in the history of their favorite cosmetic brand which is called L’Oreal. Here you guys are reading about the person who makes it possible. Liliane Henriette Charlotte Bettencourt was born on 21 October 1922 in Paris, France. She was the major shareholder of LOreal, a famous cosmetic company. Her parents Louise Madeleine Berthe and Eugene Schueller were the founders of the company. She became close to her father after the death of her mother.

She joined her father’s company at the young age of 15 and made it the world’s largest cosmetics and beauty company and hence became one of the famous billionaires. Also, she inherited it after her father’s death so education doesn’t seem compulsory. Some people criticized her that she is not self-made but making L’Oreal an international brand, major credit goes to Liliane. Bettencourt married to French politician Andre Bettencourt in 1950. Andre was the prominent figure of French governments in the era of the 1960s and 1970s. She was the richest woman of her time with a net worth of US$44.3 billion. She died in 2017 as the 14th richest woman in the world.

12. Ingvar Kamprad

Ingvar Kamprad

Feodor Ingvar Kamprad was born as a businessman as he started selling matches at the age of five. By seven, he used his bicycle to sell matches to neighbors. He was born on 30 March 1926 in Pjatteryd, Sweden.  Moreover, he expanded his business by selling fishes, seeds, Christmas tree decorations, pencils, and ballpoints. He faced problems in his studies due to dyslexia that’s why he was away from studies and focused on working. Kamprad founded the mail-order furniture business called Ikea.

The acronym IKEA is made up of the initials of his name “ Ingvar Kamprad” and plus those of Elmtaryd, the family farm where he was born, and the nearby village Agunnaryd where he was raised. At first, he only makes the kitchen tables which proceed gradually.  He became the Swedish business magnate and holds a net worth of $42 billion at the time of his death on 27 January 2018 in Almhult, Sweden. IKEA store today has 423 locations worldwide. Kamprad’s youngest son Mathias is the chairperson of the IKEA group. 

13. Kirk Kerkorian

Kirk Kerkorian

Kerker Kirk Kerkorian was born on June 6, 1917, in Fresno, California, the U.S. Kirk who has an Armenian background is one of the famous billionaires. He left the school in the eighth grade to become a boxer. He won the Pacific amateur welterweight championship with the name of “ Rifle Right Kerkorian”. World War II begins and KIrk learns to fly a fighter jet. He got his flying lesson from pioneer aviator Pancho Barnes, in return Kirk has to take care of her cattle. After the war, he served as a general aviation pilot.

Kirk started to buy some lands in Las Vegas and build three largest hotels in it. It includes the International Hotel, The MGM Grand Hotel, and the MGM Grand. He died on June 15, 2015, in Beverly Hills, California, the U.S. At the time of his death he holds the net worth of $4 billion. He was the founder of the Tracinda Corporation which was his private holding company. Due to the respect of his Armenian background, he gives major donations through his Lincy Foundation. This organization mainly focuses on the well-being of Armenian people.

14. Laurence Graff

Laurence Graff

The founder of the Graff Diamonds born on 13 June 1938 in Stepney, London, UK. He belongs to a Jewish working family and is one of the famous billionaires. Moreover, he was not interested in studies and left school at the age of fifteen. He started his career by working on a small jewelry shop. Later, he managed to own two jewelry shops. Also, he founded the World’s largest jewel supplier company the Graff Diamonds in 1960. Initially, he sells jewelry only in England but later he found some permanent clients from the newly riches of the Middle East.

One of his customers was Hassanal Bolkiah, the 29th Sultan of Brunai. It is said that once he bought Graff’s shop whole stock. Now this company has more than 35 shops in Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East and the U.S. The best part of his personality is that he didn’t use South Africa’s diamond mines. But he founded the Facet Foundation on the aims of raising the standards of health and education in South Africa. Graff holds the net worth of 5.4 billion U.S$. Paying honors to his services in the field of jewelry industry Graff was appointed as “Officer of the Order of the British Empire”.

15. John Caudwell

John Caudwell one of the famous billionaires

John David Caudwell was born on 7 October 1952 in Birmingham, England. He goes to Berry Hill High School but left it and didn’t complete his A-levels. He started his career by working as an apprentice and spend many years in it. Finally, he gains his NHC in mechanical engineering and later became one of the famous billionaires. At the same time, he also runs a small shop which sells clothes to motorcyclists it also helps him to earn money. Caudwell entered the mobile provider market with his companies named SinglePoint and Phones 4u.

Initially, Caudwell and his brother registered themselves as a mobile phone wholesaler in 1987. They bought 26 sets of Motorola mobiles and it took 8 months to sell it The company remains in the loss for the first two years. But now Caudwell holds the net worth of $3 billion but he vowed to give his half fortune into charity. In 2000 he founded the Caudwell Children and remain his chairman till 2016. He said “ I wanted to make sure that every penny that was raised would be put to the best use and spent on the children that needed it. But he added that his fortune is not enough to fulfill the needs of needy children.


After reading the above paragraphs, you may have become well aware that education is not a necessity. You just need an idea, passion, dedication, and hard work to achieve your goals.