Rags to riches stories are the ultimate story of realizing the American Dream, of coming from nothing and working your way up to being rich and famous. We love it. These rags to riches stories are inspiring and tell of determination for a better life. They are proof that where you are from does not determine where you are going. Rags to riches stories are the ultimate proof that hard work pays off in the end.
Many people know that Oprah was one of many rags to riches stories, but not many people know her story. Born in Mississippi, she was raised by her grandmother until she was 6, where she then moved into a boardinghouse with her mother and half-sister. Her family relied on welfare to support themselves. When she was 13, she ran away from home after being molested by two members of her family. It was then when she turned her life around. She got a full scholarship to college and was discovered by a radio station after winning a beauty contest. Ever since then, she has tirelessly worked to raise in the ranks from newscaster to having her own media empire and being a source of inspiration to millions of Americans.
2. Howard Schultz
I am personally thankful for this rags to riches story because I don’t know what I would do without my daily Starbucks fix. Harold Schultz grew up in the projects of Brooklyn. He had always believed he was capable of being so much more than what the projects afforded him. He received a full sports scholarship to University of Northern Michigan, where he graduated with a communications degree. When he was working for Xerox he found a small coffee shop called Starbucks. He worked his way into the Starbucks community and created the multi-billion dollar coffee empire that we know and love today.
3. J.K. Rowling
Many people have this strange misconception that J.K. Rowling wrote the Harry Potter books on a napkin in a cafe because she was homeless. But that is not exactly true. While she did depend on welfare, she lived in government housing with her only child. And she did write the first book in a cafe, but not on napkins. She had to submit her book to various publishing agencies before someone agreed to represent her. And thank god for this rags to riches story because without it, we wouldn’t have the amazing Harry Potter books that I grew up on.
4. Andrew Carnegie
He is not exactly one of the most modern rags to riches stories, but Andrew Carnegie’s story is still impressive. Born in Scotland, but raised in Pittsburgh, Carnegie lived in poverty for the majority of his early life. He went from various low paying jobs ever since he was 13. When he was 17, he started working for a railroad man and started investing his money in small businesses. He used the money to create his steel business, which soon boomed into an empire. To this day, Carnegie is still the richest man who has ever lived, even when taking conversion rates into account. This is definitely one impressive rags to riches story.
5. Sarah Jessica Parker
Born into a poor family in Ohio, Sarah Jessica Parker’s childhood was not so easy. Her parents divorced when she was 2, and her mother remarried and had 4 more kids. And feeding all of those mouths was not easy. She luckily caught her big break when she was cast in a Broadway musical at the age of 11. Ever since then, her talent as an actress has allowed her to never have to live in poverty again.
6. Jim Carrey
During his teenage years, funnyman Jim Carrey dropped out of high school to take a job as a janitor and security guard to help his struggling family. Even with all of his hard work, his family lost their home and were forced to live in a van. Once his family moved to U.S. he tried his hand at stand-up comedy. And you can guess where he ended up. He is still considered one of the most outstanding comedic actors of our time.
7. Sean Combs
Sean Combs was born in Harlem, and moved to upstate New York with his mother after his father was murdered. Times were tough for his family and he had to work various low paying jobs to help support him and his mother. When he was an intern at Uptown Records, he realized his true ambition and finally caught his big break. He worked his way up from the mail room to management positions. After working with Notorious B.I.G, Combs was able to reach an incredible level of success.
These rags to riches stories are truly inspiring. From music, acting, writing, and even coffee making, these stories prove that hard work and determination are all you need to succeed. What do you think of these rags to riches stories? Do you know any other rags to riches stories? What do you think it takes to make your own rags to riches story?