- Mary Kay Ash. The founder of Mary Kay Inc. started a cosmetics business. While she didn’t have a collegeeducation or any training, she successfully created a brand knownthroughout the world. To date, nearly half a million women have startedMary Kay businesses, selling cosmetics. Their appreciation for Mary Kay Ashis unwavering.
- Richard Branson. Richard Branson is best known for his thrill seeking spirit and outrageous business tactics. He droppedout at the age of 16 and started his first successful business venture, StudentMagazine. He is the owner of the Virgin brand and its 360 companies.His companies include Virgin Megastore and Virgin Atlantic Airway.
- Coco Chanel. An orphan for many years, Gabrielle Coco Chanel trained as a seamstress. Determined to invent herself, she threw out the ideas that the fashionworld deemed feminine, boldly using fabric and styles normally reservedfor men. A perfume bearing her name, Chanel No. 5 kept her name famous.
- Simon Cowell. Simon Cowell started in a mailroom for a music publishing company. He has since become an Artistand Repertoire (A&R) executive for Sony BMG in the UK, and atelevision producer and judge for major television talent contestsincluding American Idol.
- Michael Dell. With $1,000, dedication and desire, Michael Dell dropped out of college at age 19 to start PC’s Limited, laternamed Dell, Inc. Dell became the mostprofitable PC manufacturer in the world. In 1996, The Michael and SusanDell Foundationoffered a $50 million grant to The University of Texas at Austin to be used for children’s health andeducation in the city.
- Barry Diller. Fox Broadcasting Company was started by a college dropout, BarryDiller. Dilleris now chairman of Expedia, and CEO of of IAC/InterActiveCorpwhich includes Home Shopping Network and Ticketmaster.
- Walt Disney. Having dropped out of high school at 16, Walt Disney’s career and accomplishments are astounding. The mostinfluential animator, Disneyholds the record for the most awards and nominations. Disney’simagination included cartoonsand theme parks. The Walt Disney Company now has annual revenue of $30 billion.
- Debbi Fields. As a young, 20 year old housewife with no business experience, Debbi Fields started Mrs. Fields ChocolateChippery. With a recipe for chocolate chip cookies, this young womanbecame the mostsuccessful cookie company owner. She later renamed, franchised, thensold Mrs. Field’s Cookies.
- Henry Ford. At 16, Henry Ford left home to apprentice as a machinist. He later started Ford Motor Company to manufacture automobiles.Ford’s first major success, the Model T, allowed Ford to open a largefactory and later start the assembly line production, revolutionalizingthe auto-making industry.
- Bill Gates. Ranked as the world’s richest person from 1995-2006, Bill Gates was acollege drop out. He started the largest computer software company,Microsoft Corporation. Gates and his wife are philanthropists, starting The Bill & Melinda GatesFoundation with a focus on global health and learning.
- Milton Hershey. With only a fourth grade education, Milton Hershey started his own chocolate company. Hershey’s MilkChocolate became the first nationally marketed chocolate. Hersheyalso focused on building a wonderful community for his workers, known asHershey, Pennsylvania.
- Steve Jobs. After attending one semester of college, Steve Jobs worked for Ataribefore co-founding Apple Computers.Now without the “Computers” in their name, Apple includes innovativeproducts such as the iPod, iTunes, and most recently the iPhone. SteveJobs was also the CEO and co-founder of Pixar before it merged with WaltDisney.
- Rachael Ray. Despite having no formal training in culinary arts, Rachel Ray has made a name forherself in the food industry. With numerous shows on the FoodNetwork, a talk showand cookbooks, high-energy Rachael doesn’t slow down. She has alsoappeared in magazines as well has having her own magazine debut in 2006.She knew she was a success when a website dedicated to bashing her wascreated.
- Ty Warner. Sole owner, CEO, and Chairman of Ty, Inc., Ty Warner is a savvy, yet private business man. Ty, Inc., made$700 million in a single year with the Beanie Babiescraze without spending money on advertising! He has since expanded toinclude Ty Girlz dolls, directly competing with Bratz dolls.
- Frank Lloyd Wright. Having never attended high school, Frank Lloyd Wright surpassed all odds when he became the most influential architectof the twentieth century. Wright designed more than 1,100 projects withabout half actually being built. His designs have inspired numerousarchitects to look at the beauty around them and add to it.
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