Today I’m going to continue what I started in my previous post about rags-to-riches stories and give you a few more examples of people who rose up from humble means to become some of the wealthiest people in America.
Without further ado, here are 6 more rags-to-riches stories.
Rockerfeller came from a poor home in the mid 1800s and earned just 50 cents per day working his first job. Yet despite these meager beginnings he became one of richest men to ever live after founding Standard and Oil Company. According to Huffington Post, “He was the first person [in] history with a net worth of a billion dollars.”
If you don’t recognize their names, you will most likely recognize the clothing store this husband and wife founded: Forever 21. As immigrants from Korea, the Changs struggled to get by at first, having to work several jobs at once. From this state of tribulation they founded a clothing store in the mid 80s and the rest is history.
The man behind the mouse himself didn’t have an easy time early on in his career. Though he was a skilled cartoonist, his dreams to have his own successful business hit several snags, including a period of joblessness. But he persevered through the trials and with the help of his brother grew the Walt Disney Company into the empire it is today.
Liz Murray’s childhood and teen years were wrought with tragedy. Parents with an addiction to drugs and a positive HIV diagnosis. Moving out on her own at the young age of 15. Homelessness. Despite all of this, she rose above the odds, attended Harvard, and eventually became a best-selling author and public speaker.
Who is Howard Schultz, you ask? He’s only the CEO and chairman of the superstar coffee chain Starbucks. But like everyone else on this list, he didn’t start off in the lap of luxury. He didn’t allow his childhood in the housing projects of Brooklyn stop him from moving forward and making a name for himself.
Carnegie grew up knowing the pains of poverty. Huffington Post suggests that “he’d sleep to ‘forget the misery of hunger,’ he once wrote.” As a child he labored in a textile factory. But as an adult he took his place among other hardworking entrepreneurs with his company Carnegie Steel, eventually rising to the title of “richest man in the world.”
It’s true that wealth isn’t everything. Riches shouldn’t be our aspiration. But with that in mind, it is encouraging to read stories of these people who overcame the pain of their circumstances and made a living for themselves through sweat and tears.
Life is hard for all of us – don’t let that stop you!