As humans, we all like to hear inspiring and uplifting things, especially in times of economic woes and downfalls. In today’s world, I think a rag to riches story would easily inspire people to continue to fight through hard times.
Rags to riches stories are most definitely inspiring. Even if you’re one of those people who doesn’t dream of extreme wealth, these stories are able to show just how far determination, confidence, and perseverance can get you in life, no matter if you start from the very bottom. Here are the top ten rags to riches.
10. John D. Rockefeller
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.
9. Liz Murray
Born in the Bronx, New York, Murray’s life started off on a bad note. She was born to HIV-infected, drug-addicted, poor parents that were not able to provide for her. At nine years old, Murray found herself and her family living in an extremely dirty apartment. At the young age of 16, Murray was left alone once her mother died of AIDS. Her father also abandoned her, moving to a homeless shelter. She went to high school, but often found herself sleeping in subways, park benches, or at a friend’s home. Without a great education, Murray was able to graduate in only two years and was able to attend Harvard. Today, Liz is an inspirational speaker who speaks out about determination and how no matter how hard life is, you have to move on and continue to work your way through the battles. Many movies have been created about her life.
8. Ozzy Osbourne
Osbourne was born in Aston, Birmingham, U.K. His father was a toolmaker and his mother worked for car components. His parents worked hard each day in order to support Ozzy and his five siblings. Osbourne didn’t do well at school because he was said to be dyslexic. Because of this, Ozzy looked towards extracurricular activities, such as music and plays. At 15, Ozzy dropped out of school and became a construction site laborer. He switched jobs between being a plumber, toolmaker, slaughterhouse worker, and then a car factory worker. Osbourne sometimes got into trouble and was accused of burglary of a clothing store. He was not able to pay the fine so he spent time in prison. Eventually, Osbourne would go on to become the singer of a local band, and many would recognize his talent. Soon enough with the help of friends, Ozzy was able to create his own band, Black Sabbath. Throughout his lifetime, Ozzy has struggled with alcoholism and drug abuse. He has been banned from certain cities, arrested many times, and even abused his wife, Sharon. However, he has still been able to produce nine studio albums, three live albums, and many singles that were able to top charts.
7. 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 cafés. Today, J.K. Rowling is worth about $1.1 billion and has been able to sell over 400 million books.
6. Richard Branson
Richard Branson was born to a decent family in Blackheath, London. He had two parents and a grandfather that was the Judge of the High Court of Justice. He received a good education, but he didn’t do well in school. Instead of focusing on school, Branson decided to put a lot of his time into growing Christmas trees and raising budgerigars. However, both of these projects failed. At 16, Branson was able to publish a magazine and then set up a record mail-order business. In 1972, he was able to open several record stores, which he called Virgin Records. In the 1980s, his record stores were able to flourish. Branson created the Virgin Atlantic Airwaves while expanding Virgin Records, which became a music label. After starting off a poor student and not having the greatest potential in life, Branson is now the 245th richest person in the world.