Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Top 10 "Rags to Riches" Stories


 Everyone loves a good rags to riches story so today I thought I would bring you ten of my favorite


J.K. Rowling


J. K. Rowling
Rowling was born in Yate, Gloucestershire, England, which is near Bristol. She attended school and found her love for writing fantasy stories. She would often write stories and tell them to her sister. Rowling moved from village to village many times and often traveled. In December of 1990, Rowling’s mother died, and she moved to Porto, Portugal in order to teach English as a foreign language. Before her mother’s death, Rowling had already begun writing her famous Harry Potter novel. In Portugal, Rowling married, but the couple separated in 1993. However, she did have a daughter and the two moved to Endinburgh, Scotland. During this time, Rowling was diagnosed with clinical depression and often contemplated suicide. She was unemployed and living on welfare. She was able to write and complete her first novel by going to several different caf├ęs. Today, J.K. Rowling is worth about $1.1 billion and has been able to sell over 400 million books.

John D. Rockefeller


John D. Rockerfeller
Rockefeller was born in Richford, New York and was one of six children. His father was a traveling salesman and was a foe of conventional morality. Throughout much of his life, Rockefeller’s father tried to find tricks and schemes he could use in order to avoid hard work, or any work at all. John’s mom struggled a lot in order to keep stability in the home, especially when her husband was gone for weeks at a time. Rockefeller’s family soon moved to Moravia and then to Owego. John went through school and got a job as a bookkeeper where he made about $50 in three months. In 1859, Rockefeller decided to produce business with a friend named Maurice B. Clark. The two established a firm and built an oil refinery. The refinery was run buy two other men, but soon after, Rockefeller bought out the Clark bothers’ firm and renamed it Rockefeller & Andrews. Soon his brother also bought into the oil business. By the end of it all, Rockefeller was able to find the Standard Oil Company and became the world’s first billionaire.

Chris Gardner

Chris Gardner
Chris Gardner
Chris grew up without knowing his real father. His mother married a man who completely ruined his and his mother’s life. He was chased out of his home and had nowhere to go, so he enlisted in the Navy. He soon became a medical supplies salesman, got married, and had a child. However, the medical supplies industry was changing, and Chris needed to find a new source of income. He was able to find interest in stock broking, after seeing a stock broker with a Ferrari. At this time, Chris had no money and his wife was gone. His son proved to be his motivation, even though the two slept in subway station bathrooms. Chris was able to pass a licensing exam and received a job at Bear Sterns. Here he’d make cold calls to get clients. By 1987, things had turned around for Chris. He had a home and was making money. In the same year, he was able to start his brokerage firm called Gardner Rich & Co.

Oprah Winfrey

Oprah Winfrey
Oprah Winfrey
Oprah’s rag to riches story is probably one that you have heard or know about fairly well. Oprah was born to unwed teenage patents in Mississippi. Once she was born, the two teenagers ended their relationship. Oprah was raised by her grandmother who was poor and wasn’t able to give her much, but she did teach Oprah how to read before age three. When Oprah turned six she relocated to the city of Milwaukee to live with her mother. During this time she still didn’t have much, but she was doing great academically. Oprah became rebellious and ran away from home, so her mother sent her to live with her father in Tennessee. She continued to be a great student and was able to impress many. She went from a radio host to a news anchor, and then to a television host. Today, she has her own television show and channel, as well as a magazine.

Barry White

Barry White (September 12, 1944 – July 4, 2003) was an American record producer and singer-songwriter. White was born Barrence Eugene Carter and grew up in the high-crime areas of South Central Los Angeles. At 17, he was jailed for four months for stealing $30,000 worth of Cadillac tires. After his release, White turned his life around and became a five-time Grammy Award-winner known for his rich bass voice and romantic image. White’s greatest success came in the 1970s as a solo singer. And with his Love Unlimited Orchestra, White crafted many enduring hits, including soul , funk, and disco songs. Worldwide, White had many gold and platinum albums and singles, with combined sales of over 100 million.

Henry Ford –

Henry Ford was a farm boy with limited formal education. He grew up, however, admiring all the machineries around the farm. He applied at the Detroit Edison Company where he started out as a machine shop apprentice. Eventually, he rose to become its chief engineer. By 1893, Ford was able to build his first car, though the costs were still too high. He kept thinking, until he established a moving assembly line that dramatically cut the cost of production. In 1908, the Model T began production. Around 19 years later, Ford had sold over 15 million cars. And his name has become almost synonymous to the American car.

Steve Jobs


He was an adopted child, and he did not finish school because he could not afford the tuition. He then started his company in his parents’ garage. That company is Apple, and because of him, the world has continuously been treated to a stream of useful, friendly, cool and groundbreaking products. From the 1984 Macintosh, to the iBook clamshell notebooks, to the iPod portable mp3 player, to the current versions of MacBooks, the iPad tablets and the iPhone smart phones, the world certainly owes Steve Jobs a favor.

Ingvar Kamprad

Net worth: $31 billion
World’s richest retailer and founder of furniture store Ikea.
Kamprad began to develop a business as a young boy, selling matches to neighbors from his bicycle. He found that he could buy matches in bulk very cheaply from Stockholm, sell them individually at a low price and still make a good profit. From matches, he expanded to selling fish, Christmas tree decorations, seeds and later ball-point pens and pencils. When Kamprad was 17, his father gave him a reward for succeeding in his studies. He used this money to establish what has grown into IKEA.
The acronym IKEA is made up of the initials of his name (Ingvar Kamprad) plus those of Elmtaryd, the family farm where he was born; and the nearby village Agunnaryd.
Kamprad has admitted that his dyslexia played a large part in the inner workings of the company. For example, the Swedish-sounding names of the furniture sold by IKEA were originally chosen by Kamprad because he had difficulty remembering numeral stock-keeping units.

Michael Oher –

Michael Oher was one of twelve children born into poverty, addiction and instability. Having spent most of his childhood bouncing around foster homes and repeating grades in eleven different elementary schools while his father was frequently imprisoned and his mother struggled with drug addiction, Oher managed to find stability in high school while living with his foster family, LeeAnn and Sean Tuohy, who later adopted him and are credited with hiring the tutor that helped turned his 0.76 GPA to an acceptable 2.52 GPA which allowed him entry to the University of Mississippi where he became a fantastic offensive tackle. Oher was then drafted in the first round by the Baltimore Ravens.
Oher’s extraordinary tale of triumph over adversity has since been re-told in the popular movie The Blind Side. 

 Walt Disney


 Fired from a newspaper because he "lacked imagination and had no original ideas"
Walt Disney was born in Chicago 1901, His father’s persistence was one of the most important factors that changed his life. Walt attended drawing class every Saturday in Kansas City Art Institute and School of Design, which his father considered as “an education”. 
At the end of World War I, Walt quit high school to join the ambulance driver troops and managed to earn a huge success in drawing and caricature for the U.S Troops. He went home to join the Kansas City Star as an intern in cartoon section. He was rejected. Walt established his business called Laugh-O-Gram, he added $15,000 from investors and sold his cartoon series to Kansas City cinema. As Walt’s staffs were getting ready to work on the series, the company itself was struggling to survive and his only client got bankrupt six months later and only one movie from the series completed, Walt was also bankrupt.
Walt said, “It was good to experience huge failures when you were young.” He left Kansas City with only $40 and joined his brother Roy in California by hoping that he could revive Laugh-O-Gram series in Hollywood. He aired his short comedic news at a cinema in Los Angeles and sold an idea for a film - a tale about Alice in Wonderland to a New York film distributor called Charles Mintz. He received $1,500 per film, this was his great debut. Walt and Roy built their business together;Walt returned with a series about a naughty rabbit named Oswald, the first animal character to appear in a comic. The series was a huge hit, and soon replaced Alice. Disney’s success was finally here. Little did he know that he would lose all his staff members and right over his most important asset: Oswald the Rabbit, which had been given license under Mintz. He was left with small amount of money and an idea. 

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