Welcome to Top10Archive! We’ve all heard it,
had it drilled into our minds since we were old enough to first put on a backpack. If
you want to be successful, then you have to go to college! It’s the only way to success?
Right? Well, that’s not always the case – and although we always suggest to further your
education, sometimes you can make your own way in this world without immediately going
into debt after you turn 18 – as seen with these 10 individuals.
10. Ted Turner Network mogul and “entrepreneurial acumen”
Ted Turner, would find a multitude of success throughout his career; even though he hadn’t
completed college. His father, Robert Edward Turner Jr. owned the successful Turner Advertising
company, which found its success via billboard ad sales. After a brief stint at a boarding
school in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Ted would be encouraged to enroll in Harvard, by his
father. Though Ted’s grades weren’t of the required levels for Harvard, he would in turn
enroll in Brown University; though he’d be kicked out for having a woman in his dorm.
It wasn’t until 1960 that Ted was made the manager of Turner Advertising’s Georgia branch
– and in 1963, after a costly buyout of a competitor about bankrupt the company, Ed
Turner would take his own life; leaving Ted as president of what is now called Turner
Communications. Currently, as of the 2016, Ted Turner is worth a modest $2.2 Billion.
9. Ty Warner Creator of the Beanie Baby, Ty Warner would
enroll in Kalamazoo College, of Michigan, where he majored in Drama. After a short stint,
Ty would drop out then move to Hollywood, California, where he would go in search of
an acting career. With that failing, he would work a number of odd jobs; while he was working
one of these jobs as a camera salesman, he would be introduced to a representative for
the toy company, Dakin, in 1962. He would work for Dakin for 18 years and in 1980 he
would depart from the company to visit and stay with some friends in Italy. Inspired
by the stuffed animals there, he would return to the United States and began producing Beanie
Babies in the early 1990’s. As of 2016, Ty Warner is worth about $2.5 Billion.
8. Oprah Winfrey Philanthropist, actress and billionaire, Oprah
Winfrey, wasn’t always in such good standings in life. She was molested by numerous male
relatives and friends of her mother, until she moved to Nashville to live with her father.
In 1971 she enrolled in Tennessee State University and in 1976, she dropped out and moved to
Baltimore to pursue a job offer. As the new host for People Are Talking, the show grew
to become a sensation, with Oprah at the helm for 8-years until she was approached by a
station in Chicago to host her own morning show. The rest is pretty much history and
as of 2016, Oprah is worth an impressive $3 Billion.
7. Steve Jobs Co-founder of Apple Computers, alongside Steve
Wozniak, Steve Jobs would quickly become a name recognizable across the globe. After
high school, Jobs would enroll in Reed College in Portland, Oregon. Though feeling lost and
directionless, he would drop out less than a year later, and in 1974, Steve would take
a job with Atari. Leaving Atari just a few months after, Jobs made his way to India where
he experimented with psychedelic drugs for “spiritual enlightenment”. Two years later,
Jobs would return to the United States and form Apple Computer with his old high school
friend, Steve Wozniak. Working out of their garages, the company would grow to become
a multi-billion dollar company, and at the time of his death in 2011, he was reportedly
worth $10.2 Billion. 6. Paul Allen
When you think of Microsoft, you obviously think of Bill Gates, but does the name Paul
Allen ring a bell? It should, as without Paul, then Microsoft probably never would have happened,
after just 2-years of college at Washington State University, Paul would convince Bill
Gates to drop out and co-create the company known as Microsoft in 1975. In 1983, Allen
would resign from Microsoft, but this wasn’t due to a falling out, as Paul and Bill remain
friends to this day, but because he was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s disease. As of 2016, Paul Allen
is worth $17.4 billion. 5. Michael Dell
It wasn’t until Michael Dell was enrolled at the University of Texas that he would find
his calling. Realizing that the home computer was still a fairly new concept, and no one
has tried to sell it directly to the consumer, Dell would close out his savings account and
began building personal computers from his dorm room in college. Focusing on more than
just the machine itself, Dell provided affordable prices, amazing customer support, and a bond
of customer relations that had almost been lost in the times. It wasn’t long until he
had clients outside of his school, and he was forced to drop out to meet the expectations
of his customers. This decision, however, proved to be well worth it, as in 1984, his
first full year of operations, he made an impressive $6 million. Now as of 2016, Michael
Dell is worth just shy of $20 Billion. 4. Mukesh Ambani
Not all of these success stories are “underdog” tales, in the instance of Mukesh Ambani, who
was born the son of the Indian business tycoon, Dhirubhai Ambani. Mukesh would enroll himself
into Stanford University, but was forced to drop out to aid his father with the family
startup company, Reliance, which had grown quickly. Through his leadership, the company
would boom as it expanded over multiple sectors, such as petroleum refining and gas exploration.
As of 2016, Mukesh is worth a staggering $20.8 Billion, which he isn’t afraid to show. He
lives with his family in one of the most expensive residential houses ever built, estimated to
be worth more than $1 Billion. 3. Mark Zuckerberg
As co-founder and CEO of the largest social media website known as Facebook, he has also
become one of the world’s youngest billionaires to date. In 2002, Mark would enroll at Harvard
University where he would develop and create a program called CourseMatch; a program that
helped students choose their classes, as well as a program called Facemash. With word of
his creative genius spreading across campus rapidly, three fellow students would reach
out to him to ask for help developing a social network. Though he agreed, he would quickly
leave the group to focus on a social networking site with a few other friends. In 2004, after
the success of his site “Facebook”, he would drop out of college to commit all his time
to his craft. A decision that has gained him a net worth of $35.7 Billion as of 2016.
2. Lawrence Ellison Entrepreneur and CEO, Lawrence Ellison, founded
the Oracle Corporation, but not until he had his attempts at college first. Right after
high school, Larry would enroll in the University of Illinois, and was even named the science
student of the year. During his second year, his adopted mother would pass away, resulting
in his departure from college. A year later he would attempt a go at the University of
Chicago, dropping out just after a semester. Deciding he would find his calling out west,
he left for Berkeley, California, broke and with hardly a belonging to his name, he bounced
from job to job, developing limited programming skills in between. In 1977, he and two colleagues
founded Software Development Labs, and were soon under contract to develop a data management
system for the CIA. The resulting system was called Oracle, and just a few years later,
in 1981, IBM agreed to use it, doubling the company’s sales for the next seven years.
Today the company employs over 130,000 people across the world, and Lawrence himself, is
worth an estimated $49.3 Billion. 1. Bill Gates
I feel as if this one is pretty self explanatory, we know the story, after a normal and uneventful
childhood, Bill would attend Harvard University, and in 1974, he was convinced by friend and
fellow billionaire, Paul Allen, to develop software. In 1975, they created Microsoft,
creating the operating system MS-DOS for the computer giant, IBM. In 1985, Microsoft released
its first retail version of Windows; and by 1993, they had more than 25-million licensed
users. Being dubbed the richest man in America in 1993, he would hold onto that title for
18-years. Still astoundingly rich by any means, as of 2016, Bill is worth $79.2-billion, even
after his retirement from Microsoft
in 2008.


  1. Success is a severely subjective term and College is a subjective application. Majority of these are underdog stories because they started when the home computer was becoming a new thing. It can happen when the next thing starts to come up. Going to college isn't even fully necessary. Majority of people that go to college just get a static office job that pays 40K+ a year.

  2. Saw Zuckerberg and had to double check to make sure the video title wasn't "Top 10 Richest Backstabbers".

  3. Dear top ten archive, you should do the Tata family and company, they have a lot of impressive achievements. Top Ten facts about Tata family+company. You could add things like they were the first to give 8 hour work shifts etc.

  4. NOTICE PEOPLE: Most of these dropouts had an idea or had something or someone to work with. I implore you stay in school. They would have dropped out but we didn't hear about their struggles. Only their success stories. You stay in school, tow the line. Stay off drugs and you will certainly be an asset to yourself, your family and to the society.

  5. Not really sure Ted Turner really counts because he just inherited an established business, he didn't exactly make it on his own as a drop out. Same goes for Mukesh Ambani.

  6. The number 1 issue with college grads while interviewing is the lack of technical skills or experience in which I'd rather have the later. For every 100 resumes, we might only see 5 with tech skills which leaves us forced to seek help over seas. I'm in Silicon Valley and they don't really care if you graduated or not. Company's will hire you if you took and got certified from Free Code Camp, we just want the skills, not the fancy paper. We want results not resumes.

  7. Wow God! What a thing… Here dropouts from other countries are billionaires, & in my country and other Asian countries graduated Software engineers are jobless & unemployed even they have Bachelors degrees in their majors.
    & Most thoughtful thing, how about their parents, like seriously they didn't take any action? In my country if someone says to do a "DROPOUT" our parents be like: JUST SHUT UP & GO TO YOUR SCHOOL/COLLEGE –– I want to become an Animation artist & parents are saying do it after your MBA, but i'm saying to them i want to do Bachelors in Media & Film making, i'm not talking about dropout, but they are not listening to me, they say first complete your MBA then do whatever you want! –

  8. A degree can get a normal person if they're lucky, MAYBE 6 figures MAX. There's not a single degree out there that guarantees millions of dollars unless you're a celebrity. Yet there's people without degrees who make millions 🤷

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