Top 10 Famous People Who Didn't Finish High School

Metal_Treasure

The Top Ten

1 Abraham Lincoln

He left school at 12 to help his family farm, and then he became THE President. - Metal_Treasure

Wow my school never said that - FerrariDude64

2 Henry Ford

He dropped out at 16 and later founded Ford Motor Company. - Metal_Treasure

3 Thomas Edison

An inventor with more than 1,000 patents in his name, including the electric light bulb, phonograph, and motion picture camera.
Edison got a late start in his schooling following an illness, and, as a result, his mind often wandered, prompting one of his teachers to call him "addled."
He dropped out after only three months of formal education. Luckily, his mother had been a schoolteacher in Canada and home-schooled him. - Metal_Treasure

Ananya is right - some inventions were officially credited to Edison (in his name) but they were not made by him. - Metal_Treasure

Phonograph.. bulb, motion camera?
No, he didn't invent them at all.
Now whole world knows who this Edison actually was. - Ananya

4 Walt Disney Walt Disney Walter Elias "Walt" Disney was an American entrepreneur, animator, voice actor and film producer. A pioneer of the American animation industry, he introduced several developments in the production of cartoons.

He dropped out of high school at 16 to join the army, but because he was too young to enlist, he joined the Red Cross with a forged birth certificate instead.
Disney was sent to France where he drove an ambulance that was covered from top to bottom with cartoons that eventually became his film characters. - Metal_Treasure

5 Al Pacino

He dropped out of high school after failing every subject except English. - Metal_Treasure

SAY HELLO TO MY LITTLE FRIEND! - bobbythebrony

6 John D. Rockefeller, Sr.

Two months before his high school graduation, history's first recorded billionaire dropped out to take business courses. He founded the Standard Oil Company in 1870 and made his billions before the company was broken up by the government for being a monopoly.
John D. Rockefeller, Sr., spent his last 40 years giving away his riches, primarily to causes related to health and education.
Ironically, this high school dropout helped millions get a good education. - Metal_Treasure

7 Benjamin Franklin Benjamin Franklin Benjamin Franklin was an American polymath and one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. Franklin was a leading author, printer, political theorist, politician, freemason, postmaster, scientist, inventor, humorist, civic activist, statesman, and diplomat.

He spent two years at the Boston Latin School before dropping out at age 10.
Franklin was the 15th child and youngest son in a family of 20 so he had to work for his father, and then his brother, as a printer. - Metal_Treasure

8 Richard Branson

He's a self-made billionaire businessman (net worth $4.7 Billion) who dropped out at 16.

Suffering from dyslexia, Branson was a poor student, so he quit school at 16 and moved to London, where he began his first successful entrepreneurial activity - ironically, he began publishing a youth magazine called “Student.” LOL

Later he founded Virgin Atlantic Airways, Virgin Records, Virgin Mobile, and most recently, a space tourism company to provide suborbital trips into space for anyone who can afford them. - Metal_Treasure

9 Louis Armstrong

After dropping out of the Fisk School at age 11, Armstrong joined a quartet of boys who sang in the streets for money. - Metal_Treasure

10 Billie Joe Armstrong Billie Joe Armstrong Billie Joe Armstrong is an American musician, singer, songwriter and actor who is best known as the lead vocalist, primary songwriter, and guitarist of the punk rock band Green Day, which he co-founded with Mike Dirnt.

The Contenders

11 Jim Carrey

He dropped out of high school at 16. - Metal_Treasure

12 Bryan Adams

At 14 he worked as a dish washer to save money for a guitar. Bryan Adams started auditioning as a guitarist and he quit High school after his successful auditions.
He started touring and playing in nightclubs with bar bands. One of them didn't have a singer so they performed with the 15-year-old Adams as the singer, which was supposed to be a temporary solution. But the band actually never found another singer because after a while they stopped looking for another singer.
At 17, Adams was already a guitarist and a singer, and he also got a job in a studio. - Metal_Treasure

Of course I had to vote him, he formed part of AC/DC - Martinglez

@Martinglez - I think you might be confusing Bryan Adams with Brian Johnson of AC/DC. - Metal_Treasure

13 Pierce Brosnan Pierce Brosnan Pierce Brendan Brosnan is an Irish actor and film producer who after leaving comprehensive school at age 16, began training in commercial illustration.

And to make ends meet he became a street performer (fire eater! ) - Metal_Treasure

14 Charles Dickens Charles Dickens Charles John Huffam Dickens (7 February 1812 – 9 June 1870) was an English writer and social critic. He created some of the world's best-known fictional characters and is regarded by many as the greatest novelist of the Victorian era. ...read more.

He left school at 12 and began working ten-hour days in a boot-blacking factory because his father was imprisoned for debt. - Metal_Treasure

15 Eminem Eminem Eminem, born Marshall Bruce Mathers III, is an American rapper, actor and music producer born on October 17, 1972 in St. Joseph, Missouri. Eminem has sold over 300 million records making him the bestselling hip-hop artist of all time. In addition to his solo career, he is a member of D12 and (with Royce ...read more.

He failed 9th grade 3 times

16 Princess Diana

She dropped out of school at 16. - Metal_Treasure

17 Johnny Depp Johnny Depp John Christopher "Johnny" Depp II is an American actor, producer, and musician. He has won the Golden Globe Award and Screen Actors Guild Award for Best Actor. His role in a movie is often rather big. His character is often on the "loopy side" and his character being in a darker state of mind, etc.
18 Simon Cowell Simon Cowell Simon Phillip Cowell is an English reality television judge, entrepreneur, philanthropist, film, record, and television producer.

T.V. producer, music judge - American Idol, The X Factor, Britain’s Got Talent. - Metal_Treasure

19 Keanu Reeves

He never obtained a high school diploma but he tried hard.
Within five years, Reeves attended four high schools, including the Etobicoke School of the Arts (Canada), from which he was expelled. Reeves stated he was expelled because "I was just a little too rambunctious and shot my mouth off once too often. I was not generally the most well-oiled machine in the school."
He later attended Avondale Secondary Alternative School, which allowed him to obtain an education while working as an actor, but he dropped out again and did not obtain a high school diploma. - Metal_Treasure

20 Christina Aguilera

She never finished high school. - Metal_Treasure

21 Bill Gates Bill Gates William Henry "Bill" Gates III is an American business magnate, entrepreneur, philanthropist, investor, and programmer.

Became the worlds richest man, inspiring

22 Lionel Messi Lionel Messi Lionel Andrés "Leo" Messi is an Argentine professional footballer who plays as a forward for Spanish club Barcelona. He is also known as one of the greatest football players of all time. He was born in Rosario, Argentina on June 24th, 1987.
23 Christina Applegate Christina Applegate Christina Applegate is an American actress and dancer who was a child actress, playing the role of Kelly Bundy on the Fox sitcom Married... with Children. 

Actress, High school dropout. - Metal_Treasure

24 Coco Chanel Coco Chanel Gabrielle Bonheur "Coco" Chanel was a French fashion designer of women's clothes and founder of the Chanel brand.
25 Cameron Diaz Cameron Diaz Cameron Michelle Diaz is a retired American actress, producer, author, and fashion model. She rose to stardom with roles in The Mask, My Best Friend's Wedding, and There's Something About Mary, and is also known for voicing the character of Princess Fiona in the Shrek series.

She quit at 16 because she got a modeling contract. Interestingly, in her debut movie "The Mask", there was another dropout - Jim Carrey. - Metal_Treasure

26 Nicolas Cage Nicolas Cage Nicolas Kim Coppola, known professionally as Nicolas Cage, is an American actor and producer. He is well known for his roles in Raising Arizona, Moonstruck, Vampire's Kiss, Wild at Heart, Honeymoon in Vegas, Red Rock West, Leaving Las Vegas, The Rock, Con Air, Face/Off, City of Angels, 8MM, Bringing ...read more.

Born Nicolas Kim Coppola (yeah, he is the nephew of director Francis Ford Coppola) and the son of a professor of literature. He dropped out of Beverly Hills High School to join the family business - movie making. - Metal_Treasure

27 Tobias Sammet Tobias Sammet Tobias Sammet is a German metal musician, best known as the vocalist and primary songwriter of the power metal band Edguy, as well as the founder, main singer and bassist of the metal opera Avantasia.

He is definitely one of the most talented and smartest metal singers. Tobi wanted to become a journalist but he left his Grammar School because at 14 he formed his band Edguy. He said his leaving was "inglorious".
"I wasn't anymore Tobi who wanted to learn in order to become a journalist sometime, but very soon I was the singer of a heavy metal band, who had to live, at any price, all the cliches, at least I told myself so. From a good pupil at grammar school I turned into the class clown and troublemaker very fast, and I had to leave school because of rapidly declining grades."
Fortunately Tobi became a very successful musician and he said that "My plan to be a professional musician, which I hatched in a certain phase of pubescent ignorance, seems to have worked out...thank God." - Metal_Treasure

28 Avril Lavigne Avril Lavigne Avril Ramona Lavigne is a Canadian–French singer-songwriter and actress. By the age of 15, she had appeared on stage with Shania Twain; by 16, she had signed a two-album recording contract with Arista Records worth more than $2 million.
29 Cristiano Ronaldo Cristiano Ronaldo Cristiano Ronaldo dos Santos Aveiro is a Portuguese professional footballer who plays as a forward for Italian club Juventus and the Portugal national team.
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