No Education Required: 8 Billionaire Dropouts

by / ⠀Startup Advice / October 9, 2022
Billionaire Dropouts

Kirk Kerkorian

The father of the “megaresort” this high school dropout shaped Las Vegas to the destination it is today.  Buying 80 acres on the strip for a measly $960,000, with vision like this no wonder he is a billionaire. Kerkorian later opened the MGM Grand Casino and Hotel.  Kerkorian was married to professional tennis player Lisa Bonder, 48 years younger than he, for one week.

François Pinault

French high school dropout created an empire that owned Gucci, Converse, Samsonite and Vail Ski Resort.  Apparently Francois didn’t see the value in education, but thought Gucci was a good buy.  Francois is also said to be the most powerful man in modern art.


Jack Taylor

The founder of Enterprise Rent-a-car was once enrolled in George Washington University but dropped out to be a fighter pilot in WWII.  Taylor is now the 14th richest man in America.  Taylor has given a $40 million gift to the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra.


David Murdock

Dropping out of school, dyslexic, homeless, pumping gas, Murdock went to war and came back to start flipping Arizona real estate.  Murdock took over Dole Food Company and his pineapple empire bought him the 6th largest island in Hawaii.


Donald Newhouse

Newhouse’s media conglomerate started after he dropped out of Syracuse.   He owns part of the Discovery Channel and Learning Channel as well as Conde Naste, which includes Vanity Fair, the New Yorker and Vogue.


Ralph Lauren

Growing up in the same Bronx neighborhood as Calvin Klein, Lauren was actually born Ralph Lifschitz.   Lauren created his empire by hand, selling neckties to fellow students in high school and for the 2 years he attended college.  He also owns a Ferrari 250 GTO, a McLaren F1 GTR LM, and a Bugatti Veyron.

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Paul Allen

Co-founder of Microsoft and is Chariman of Vulcan Inc which owns over 40 different technology companies.  Dropping out of Washington State, Allen convinced Bill Gates to drop out of Harvard.  Paul’s investment’s include some pretty neat toys including the Seattle Seahawks, Portland Trailblazers and one of the world’s largest yachts at 416 feet.


Larry Ellison

Dropped out of the University of Illinois and eventually went on to start Oracle.  He is known for his extravagance with a $200 million home, $200 million yacht and often gives Acura NSX supercars as gifts.  For his fourth wedding his friend, also a billionaire dropout Steve Jobs was the official wedding photographer.


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About The Author

Matt Wilson

Matt Wilson is Co-Founder of Under30Experiences, a travel company for young people ages 21-35. He is the original Co-founder of Under30CEO (Acquired 2016). Matt is the Host of the Live Different Podcast and has 50+ Five Star iTunes Ratings on Health, Fitness, Business and Travel. He brings a unique, uncensored approach to his interviews and writing. His work is published on, Forbes, Inc. Magazine, Huffington Post, Reuters, and many others. Matt hosts yoga and fitness retreats in his free time and buys all his food from an organic farm in the jungle of Costa Rica where he lives. He is a shareholder of the Green Bay Packers.


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