Rags to Rich

Rags to Rich of the world’s wealthiest people started out dirt poor. These 10 rags-to-riches stories remind us that through determination, grit, and a little bit of luck anyone can overcome their circumstances and achieve extraordinary success. 

1. Roman Abramovich was born into poverty and orphaned at age 2

Net worth: US$18.9 billion

Abramovich is the primary owner of the private investment company Millhouse LLC, and is best known outside Russia as the owner of Chelsea F.C., a Premier League football club

2. Mohed Altrad survived on one meal a day when he moved to France.

Net worth: $ 2.7 billion

Mohed Altrad is a French-Syrian billionaire businessman, rugby chairman and writer, born c. March 1948

3. Kenny Troutt paid his way through college by selling life insurance.

Net Worth: $1.2 Billion

Kenny A. Troutt was the founder of Excel Communications, a Texas-based telecommunications company that offered long distance phone service

4. Howard Schultz grew up in a housing complex for the poor.

Net worth: US$4.3 billion

Howard D. Schultz is an American businessman. He served as the chairman and chief executive officer of the Starbucks Coffee Company from 1986 to 2000, and then again from 2008 to 2017. Schultz also owned the Seattle SuperSonics basketball team from 2001 to 2006

5. Ken Langone’s parents worked as a plumber and cafeteria worker.

Net worth: US$4.0 billion

Kenneth Gerard Langone Sr. KSG is an American billionaire businessman, investor, and philanthropist, best known for organizing financing for the founders of The Home Depot. He has been a major donor to the Republican Party

6. Oprah Winfrey was born into poverty

Net worth: US$2.5 billion

Oprah Gail Winfrey is an American talk show host, television producer, actress, author, and philanthropist

7. John Paul DeJoria lived in a foster home and his car.

Net worth: US$3.1 billion

John Paul Jones DeJoria is an American entrepreneur, a billionaire and philanthropist best known as a co-founder of the Paul Mitchell line of hair products and The Patrón Spirits Company

8. At one time, businessman Shahid Khan washed dishes for $1.20 an hour.

Net worth: US$7.9 billion

Shahid Rafiq Khan, is a Pakistani-born American billionaire businessman and sports tycoon. He is the owner of Flex-N-Gate, an American automotive company. Khan is also the owner of the Jacksonville Jaguars of the National Football League, Fulham of the Premier League, and co-owner of All Elite Wrestling

9. Forever 21 founder Do Won Chang worked as a janitor, as a gas station attendant, and in a coffee shop when he first moved to the U.S.

Net worth: $800 million

Do Won Chang is a multi-millionaire Korean-born American businessman. He founded the clothing store chain Forever 21 with his wife Jin Sook Chang

10. Ralph Lauren was once a clerk at Brooks Brothers dreaming of men’s ties.

Net worth: US$5.9 billion

Ralph Lauren Corporation is an American fashion company producing products ranging from the mid-range to the luxury segments. They are known for the clothing, marketing and distribution of products in four categories: apparel, home, accessories, and fragrances