I was doing a bit of googling the other day, it’s one of the ways I find interesting stuff to blog about. Anyway I came across some very interesting information about high school drop-outs. The information was really about how many successful people there are out there that have no formal qualifications above high school or who dropped out in high school.
I found a list of 751 Names of famous people who dropped out of high school. In that list there are:
U.S. Presidents: 8
Astronauts: 1 (Valentina Tereshkova)
Nobel Prize Winners: 10 (6 Literature, 2 Peace, 1 Physics, 1 Chemistry)
Olympic Medal Winners: 8 (7 Gold Medalists, one Silver Medalist)
Oscar Winners: 63
Oscar Nominees: 104 (includes above)
Best-Selling Authors: 55
Presidential Medal of Freedom recipients (U.S.’s highest civilian honor): 14
Congressional Gold Medal recipients (U.S.): 12
United Nations Goodwill Ambassadors: 2 (Roger Moore, Angelina Jolie)
Benjamin Franklin: American politician-diplomat-author-printer-publisher-scientist-inventor; co-author and co-signer of the U.S. Declaration of Independence; one of the founders of The United States of America; face is pictured on the U.S. one-hundred dollar bill (little formal education [less than two years]; home schooling/life experience).
Arthur Henderson: Nobel Prize-winning British Politician; co-founder of the Labour Party; Foreign Secretary 1929-1931; peace conference president (1934 Nobel Peace Prize) (dropped out of school at age 12 to work in a locomotive parts iron foundry).
The Guardian even did an article about some famous and successful people back in 2008. You’d be surprised at the names there.
Here is a list of some of their notables:
Simon Cowell: left school before the sixth form. He took a few menial jobs, but did not get along well with co-workers and bosses, until his father, an EMI executive, managed to get him a job in the mail room.
Richard Branson: Though he was a poor student, Richard Branson stuck it out at Stowe school until he was 15.
John Major: pilloried during his time as British prime minister for being boring, left school at 16 with three O-levels: history, English language and English literature.
Maurice Joseph Micklewhite Jr, aka Michael Caine: left school at 16 after gaining four O-levels and did his national service, serving in Germany and in combat in the Korean war.
Of course in New Zealand we have our own people who left school who made a success of themselves, particularly in the political:
Sir Keith Jacka Holyoake, KG, GCMG, CH, QSO, KStJ: The only person to have been bothPrime Minister and Governor-General of New Zealand. At age 12, having left school after his father’s death, Holyoake worked on the family hop and tobacco farm in Riwaka.
Jim Bolger: He left Opunake High School at age 15 to work on the family farm and went on to be the 35th Prime Minister of New Zealand.
Walter Nash: He was born into a poor family and his father was an alcoholic. Nash performed well at school and won a scholarship to King Charles I Grammar School but additional costs associated with attending prevented him from accepting. Nash began employment as a clerk, initially with a lawyer in Kidderminster and then at a factory near Birmingham.
Just goes to show that a list of degrees doesn’t automatically guarantee you success in life in your chosen profession.