Rags to Riches

These people started with little. When you’re doubting if you can do it, remember where these people started from… keep going.

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s family were evicted from their home when he was fourteen for not being able to meet rent. Now he is one of Hollywood’s highest paid actors, making over $64 million in 2016.

Vera Wang was once a professional figure skater, however, she failed to make the U.S. Olympic team in 1968. She also experienced set-backs in her fashion career, not being offered the position of editor-in-chief at Vogue. Now, however, she designs wedding dresses, with names such as Victoria Beckham, Mariah Carey, Alicia Keys and Hilary Duff in her portfolio.

In the years leading up to the publication of her first Harry Potter novel, J.K. Rowling went through a divorce, lost her mother, and lived on welfare.

Guy Laliberté performed on the streets before co-founding Cirque du Soleil.

Leonardo Del Vecchio was given up to an orphanage by his single-mother because she was unable to support him. For a time he was a factory worker. His company, Luxottica, now owns Ray-Ban, Oakley, and OPSM.

Ursula Burns grew up in a housing project in Manhattan’s Lower East Side and was raised by a single mother. She now holds a Masters in Science of Mechanical Engineering and is the CEO of Xerox.

CEO of Starbucks, Howard Schultz, grew up in the Brooklyn housing projects.

Winston Churchill’s greatest contribution to society came late in life – he was in his late sixties when he was prime minister of England and led one of the world’s most powerful countries through World War 2.

Sam Walton (founder of Wal-Mart) grew up in a poor family. He played his part for the family’s finances by milking the family cow and delivering the milk. Other chores included delivering newspapers on a paper route.

Oprah Winfrey’s start in life was not easy. Born to a teenage single mother, her early experiences are that of poverty. In her teens Oprah also endured being molested, through which she became pregnant. Her baby died in infancy. Today however, things are so different that she is considered the greatest philanthropist known to the United States.

Sir Sydney Kidman left his home near Adelaide at age 13 with only 5 shillings and a one-eyed horse that he had bought with his savings. He eventually became the largest landholder in Australia. Side note; he also guaranteed work for his employees who went to fight in WW1, and assisted the widows of those who did not return. He was knighted in 1921.

Keith Fennell (author of Warrior Brothers) suffered serious injury whilst training for SAS selection only weeks prior to the gruelling selection course. The army was going to remove his enrolment for the course upon medical examination, but he pleaded for the doctor to give him a clearance, and went on to complete the course and gain admission into Australia’s most elite regiment.

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