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A List of Famous High School Dropouts

The following list isn't meant to encourage anyone to quit school. There are advantages to having a good formal education. This list of famous high school dropouts does, however, show that a formal education isn't an absolute necessity for a successful life (nor for increasing one's brainpower). There are many ways to succeed after all, and many ways to educate yourself. So here are the names of those who took an alternate path...

Richard Branson... Billionaire British businessman.
George Carlin... Comedian.
Jim Carrey... Comedian and actor.
Tom Cruise... Actor
George Eastman... Founder of the Kodak company.
Albert Einstein... Mathematician.
Michael J. Fox... Actor.
George Gershwin... Composer
Wright brothers... Inventors of the airplane.

Peter Jennings... News anchor and reporter.
Billy Joel... Singer.
Keanu Reeves... Actor.
Thomas Sowell... Economist, author and political commentator.
Quentin Tarantino... Movie director.
Dave Thomas... Founder of Wendy's restaurant chain.
Uma Thurman... Actress.
Randy Travis... Country music singer.
John Travolta... Actor, airline pilot.
Ansel Adams... Photographer, author.
Bryan Adams... Songwriter, singer.
Jack Albertson... Oscar-winning actor.
Peter Allen... Australian songwriter, composer, singer.
Dhirubhai Ambani... Billionaire Indian businessman.

List Source: Wikipedia

There are at least 18 billionaires that dropped out of high school, as well as 10 Nobel prize winners, 8 U.S. presidents and dozens of best-selling authors. Even Mensa, the high-IQ group, has some high school dropouts among its ranks.

In recent years, it has become less common for dropouts to succeed in many areas (except perhaps business), because diplomas, degrees, and official papers have become more important to society. While it is good to encourage education, this over-valuing of formal documents may lead us to pay less attention to what intelligence and success really are. Certainly, looking at the list above, you can imagine there are many well-papered people in this world who are a rung or two below some high school dropouts in terms of true success and the use of their intelligence.


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