School dropouts who became billionaires


Al-Yaum newspaper

I have to admit that I hesitated several times before writing this article for fear that some readers might get the wrong message. This article does not encourage anyone to drop out of school in search of making their own fortune as some famous and wealthy people have done.

While I will mention some of the big names in the world of business who dropped out of school, this article is actually aimed at everyone who has left school due to unforeseen circumstances.

Education is the key to achievement and is necessary for climbing the ladder of success, both in life and business. Through education, we make our big dreams come true. However, it is not the only way to achieve our ambitions. There are many scientists and wealthy men who have done well in the real world without having a college degree. In fact, they failed in school and dropped out at an early age. They are few but they became immensely wealthy.

Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft, dropped out of Harvard University while Steve Jobs went to college for six months and then quit. He founded Apple Corporation when he was 21.

William Shakespeare, the pioneer English novelist and playwright, was a great writer. He was born in a well-to-do family and attended the village school for a few years before his family had a financial crisis that forced him to leave school. He moved to London where he found a platform to exhibit his creativity and show his genius as a playwright and poet.

Thomas Edison invented the electric light bulb among many other things even though he only attended school for three months. The school principle described him as dumb and stupid. His mother, however, schooled him at home and he later became one of the world’s greatest inventors.

Some might not succeed in school and may drop out, but they are not necessarily without talent. I have a friend who used to be lazy in elementary school and would not do his homework. The teacher would reprimand him every day. Today, he is one of the most successful businessmen in the region and runs a large electric appliances business.