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7 Rags-to-Riches Stories to Brighten Your Day


Everyone loves a good rags-to-riches story.

It makes us feel good inside to see people pull themselves out of destitution—to see the afflicted succeed.

Not only that, but it gives us hope that anything is possible with hard work, determination, talent, and God’s grace.

Here are some real-life rags-to-riches stories for your encouragement.

Mr. Walton came from humble means—an Oklahoma farm boy of the Great Depression era. He fought in WWII and upon returning home opened a variety store. This business venture eventually expanded into the superstores we know as Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club.

Oprah is now a household name, but no one who knew her as a child would ever have been able to see that coming. Her mother was an unmarried teenager, and she was sexually abused. But eventually she pursued a journalism career and grew into the massive media figure that she is today.

Another simple farm boy, Henry Ford’s interest was in the mechanical industry. His advances in mechanics “went on to revolutionize the transportation industry.” He built his business from the ground up, and has a lot to show for it!

Little would anyone guess that the billionaire who penned the Harry Potter series was once an impoverished single mom struggling to scrape by. Destitute and dependent on welfare, Rowling’s circumstances transformed rapidly as her Harry Potter novels garnered massive success.

Some may have thought of Ralph Lauren as nothing more than a high school dropout. But after gaining experience working in fashion as a clerk and later salesman, Lauren decided to take a risk and venture out on his own. He established his own brand, Polo, which grew from a mere $50,000 venture into a multi-billion-dollar franchise.

Jim Carrey may seem like a care-free funnyman, but the truth about his childhood may shock his fans. Poverty assailed his family, so much so that he had to work 8-hour days as a 12-year-old after school. His father at one point lost his job, forcing the family into homelessness for a time. Yet now Carrey stars in films that have grossed hundreds of millions.

As “the first African-American woman to head a Fortune 500 company” Ursula Burns, head of Xerox, is a cut above! Yet her beginnings were humble. She grew up in housing projects of New York, but she found a way to rise above her circumstances and prove the statistics wrong.


More rags-to-riches stories to come!

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