8 Famous and Successful People Who Ignored School

We are told all our lives that education is the main way to success and financial independence. Is it really? Let’s take a look at some singers, inventors, and actors who have achieved success and international fame without a degree.

Some of them dropped out of school and went into the entertainment industry. Others had a brilliant idea and its realization left them no time for school and lessons. Here are eight celebrities who ignored school, but it didn’t stop them from rising to the top.

Steve Jobs

Not everyone knows that this genius was adopted as an infant. His adoptive parents claimed that the boy learned to read at an early age, although at school he often acted like a bully, often making fun of his classmates. Steve often got into trouble and this lasted until fourth grade when one of his teachers sparked his interest in learning. At 13, he found his first job. During the summer holidays, the young Steve worked for Bill Hewlett who later co-founded Hewlett-Packard. Three years later Steve Jobs and his best friend Steve Wozniak began to develop devices allowing people to call long-distance numbers for free. Of course, this was illegal. This experience showed Steve that building such devices and computers in general, could be quite lucrative. After that, Apple’s father spent a semester at Reed College in Portland, Oregon, and then realized that attending college was a waste of time.
8 Famous and Successful People Who Ignored School

Eminem (Marshall Mathers)

Marshall has built such a dizzying career worth over $200 million thanks to his talent and the coolest songs the world has ever known. Like many rap artists, young Eminem was a troubled teenager. In 9th grade, he was detained three times by the police. At the age of 17, he made the decision to drop out of school. Considering the success Marshall Mathers has had in his life (worth just 15 Grammy Awards), perhaps this decision wasn’t so disastrous.
8 Famous and Successful People Who Ignored School

Chris Pratt

The fate of Peter Quill/Star-Lord from the “Guardians of the Galaxy” franchise could have turned out differently. One day, his high school wrestling coach asked him about his plans for the future. Chris said that he would become famous and rich, although he had no concrete idea how to achieve it. He enrolled in a community college and almost completed a semester there, but at the most inopportune moment, he said “nope.” Right after that, he moved to the Hawaiian island of Maui, although his stay there was not ideal. He lived the life of a homeless man, with sleepovers in a van or a tent on the beach.  He even worked as a stripper, but that didn’t make him rich either. While working as a waiter at the Bubba Gump Shrimp Company he served a table where an actress/director who liked him sat. For the next 10 years he tried his luck in the movie industry and in 2009 he appeared in the NBC comedy “Parks and Recreation.” Although the directors saw it as a temporary role, Chris Pratt’s popularity changed their minds. Today, the actor is an integral part of the “Guardians of the Galaxy” franchise and the Marvel universe as a whole.
8 Famous and Successful People Who Ignored School

Bill Gates

Bill was a smart kid from an early age. The fact that his first computer program was written when he was 13 supports this theory. He and Paul Allen and some other friends even got banned from using computer technology and devices for an entire summer after they were caught using operating system bugs to get free computer time. On the SATs Bill Gates fell 10 points short of the maximum score, although it was the best result, and he got into the prestigious Harvard. The young genius spent two years there and then dropped out of the university to focus on his own company, now known as Microsoft. And another amazing fact, he was for a long time the richest man in the world!
8 Famous and Successful People Who Ignored School

Cindy Crawford

This attractive and confident woman has shattered the myth that models are stupid dolls. After graduating from high school in suburban Chicago, Cindy Crawford successfully passed her exams and enrolled at Northwestern University, one of the most selective US private schools. A few months later her modeling career began to take off, and she dropped out.
8 Famous and Successful People Who Ignored School

Jay-Z

Shawn Carter, who performs under the pseudonym Jay-Z had a difficult childhood. He spent that part of his life in a Brooklyn apartment complex, and he started using firearms early. Jay-Z admitted that at age 12 he shot his brother in the shoulder for stealing his money. Shawn went to the same school as Busta Rhymes, Notorious B.I.G., and other famous rappers. As a teenager, there was no shortage of cocaine sales. Shawn Carter ignored school lessons and spent all his time writing rap songs. For a while, he was selling his CDs himself because no record company wanted to sign him. Eventually, he achieved great success, making a billion dollars and marrying Beyoncé.
8 Famous and Successful People Who Ignored School

Spielberg 

From an early age, this boy knew what profession to choose. At the age of 13, he made his first film (Escape to Nowhere) for which he won the top prize at a statewide film competition. Spielberg was not one of those teenagers who made time for school. He got bad grades in high school and because of that he was not accepted to USC’s film school. Nevertheless, the future great director got into Cal State Long Beach but left after a year of study to develop his career in the film industry. Thirty years later he came back and got his Bachelor’s degree.
8 Famous and Successful People Who Ignored School

Mark Zuckerberg

Another genius on our list. In grade school, he developed a unique program that allowed his father’s dental office computer to connect with a device that was in his house. Mark Zuckerberg was not a fan of school, although he attended Johns Hopkins summer camp for gifted youth and even attended Phillips Exeter Academy for two years. His time at Harvard was not boring. At the request of his friends, Mark Zuckerberg developed a program that allowed them to choose classes based on their fellow students’ choices. Launching a Facebook platform, the guy left college to focus on his startup that serves 2+ billion users on all continents.
8 Famous and Successful People Who Ignored School