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Dropout Billionaires: Bill Gates is Not Alone, Here’s List of 20+ Billionaires Who Left College/University

Who doesn’t want to study at Harvard University? Who doesn’t want to study at Standford University? I think there is nobody who doesn’t.

Of course, every parent dreams of studying their sons/daughters in the world’s best universities/colleges like Harvard University, MIT. Standford University etc. But there are some exceptional people in the world who have left those best universities or colleges to start something great new thing.

In this post, I have gathered the information from the various sources about Dropout Billionaires who left university or college to start their dream project.

Here’s the list of dropout billionaires you may like to read.

1) Bill Gates

Bill Gates is one of the best-known successful dropout billionaires who brought the computer revolution. In 1975, he left Harvard University after two years of joining to start Microsoft.

Bill Gates (William HenryBillGates) is an American business magnate, entrepreneur, investor, author, and philanthropist. In 1975, Gates and Paul Allen co-founded Microsoft, which became the world’s largest PC software company. During his career at Microsoft, Gates held the positions of chairman, CEO and chief software architect, and was the largest individual shareholder until May 2014. Gates stepped down as chief executive officer of Microsoft in January 2000.

Forbes magazine has listed him as the wealthiest person in the world with $ $81 billion of worth for 2016 ranking.

2) Mark Zuckerberg

Mark Zuckerberg is another successful dropout billionaire who left Harvard University to start social networking site, Facebook. Together with his college roommates and fellow Harvard University students Eduardo Saverin, Andrew McCollum, Dustin Moskovitz, and Chris Hughes, he launched Facebook from Harvard’s dormitory rooms on February 4, 2004. He is the chairman, chief executive officer, and co-founder of Facebook.

Facebook expanded rapidly, reaching one billion users by 2012. Meanwhile, Zuckerberg was involved in various legal disputes that were initiated by others in the group, who claimed a share of the company based upon their involvement during the development phase of Facebook.

Forbes magazine has listed him as the fifth-wealthiest person in the world with $$55.5 billion of worth for 2016 ranking.

3) Larry Ellison

Larry Ellison (Lawrence Joseph “Larry” Ellison) is another American successful dropout billionaire businessman, entrepreneur, and philanthropist who co-founded Oracle Corporation in 1977. He was CEO from its founding until September 2014. Now he currently serves as executive chairman and chief technology officer of Oracle.

Forbes magazine has listed him as the fifth-wealthiest person in the world with $49.3 billion of worth for 2016 ranking.

Ellison studied at the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign and the University of Chicago but could complete his graduation.

4) Li Ka-shing

Li Ka-shing who dropped out high school, is the richest person in Hong Kong and the second richest person in Asia and one of the most influential tycoons in Asia. His company is working in different sectors such as ports, utilities, telecom, real estate and retail etc. He is currently the chairman of the board for CK Hutchison Holdings. His companies employ 290,000+ people in more than 50 nations.

Forbes magazine has listed him as the twentieth-wealthiest person in the world with $27.1 billion of worth for 2016 ranking.

5) Sheldon Adelson

Sheldon Gary Adelson who was born into a low-income family and grew up in the Dorchester neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts is an American casino magnate. He is the founder, chairman and chief executive officer of Las Vegas Sands Corporation, which owns the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore, and is the parent company of Venetian Macao Limited, which operates The Venetian Resort Hotel Casino and the Sands Expo and Convention Center.

He also owns the Israeli daily newspaper Israel Hayom, and the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

He dropped out City College of New York.

Forbes magazine has listed him as the #22 wealthiest person in the world with $25.2 billion of worth for 2016 ranking.

6) Steve Ballmer

Steven Anthony “Steve” Ballmer is an American businessman who was the chief executive officer of Microsoft from January 2000 to February 2014 and was succeeded by Satya Nadella. He is the owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, the basketball team he acquired for a record $2 billion. Despite former Microsoft CEO, he has purchased a 4% stake in social media firm Twitter in the fall of 2015.

Ballmer had joined Harvard University after dropping out of Stanford’s M.B.A. program.

Forbes magazine has listed him as the #28 wealthiest person in the world with $23.8 billion of worth for 2016 ranking.

7) Michael Dell

Michael Saul Dell is another American business magnate, investor, philanthropist, and author. He is the founder and CEO of Dell Technologies, one of the world’s leading providers of information technology infrastructure solutions. Michael Dell started his personal computer company with $1,000 in his University of Texas dorm room in 1984 when he was 19 and Today he owns a 70% stake in the company.

He was ranked the 35th richest person in the world on 2016 Forbes list of billionaires, with a net worth of US$19.8 billion.

Michael Dell dropped Out the University of Texas at Austin.

8) Mukesh Ambani

Mukesh Dhirubhai Ambani is an Indian business magnate who is the chairman, managing director and largest shareholder of Reliance Industries Limited (RIL). He holds a 44.7% stake in the company. RIL deals mainly in refining, petrochemicals, and in the oil and gas sectors. In recent month, Mukesh Ambani is reaching to most of the India people with the launch of 4G phone service Jio.

He has done Bachelor of Science in Engineering, University of Bombay but dropped out Stanford University.

He was ranked the 36th richest person in the world on 2016 Forbes list of billionaires, with a net worth of US$19.3 billion.

9) Paul Allen

Paul Allen is another drop out billionaires who left the Washington State University to start software giant Microsoft in 1975 with his high school friend Bill Gates. Eight years later, Allen left Microsoft after he was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s disease.

Allen is now the Chief Executive Officer of Vulcan Inc., which manages his various business and philanthropic efforts. Allen also has a multibillion-dollar investment portfolio including technology and media companies, real estate holdings, and stakes in other companies. He owns two professional sports teams: the Seattle Seahawks of the National Football League, and the Portland Trail Blazers of the National Basketball Association.

He was ranked the 40th richest person in the world on 2016 Forbes list of billionaires, with a net worth of US$17.5 billion.

10) Carl Icahn

Carl Icahn is another drop out billionaires who left the New York University.

Icahn was raised in the Far Rockaway, Queens section of New York City, where he attended Far Rockaway High School. His family was Jewish. His father, an atheist, was a cantor, and later a substitute teacher. His mother also worked as a schoolteacher. Carl graduated from Princeton University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in philosophy in 1957 and then entered New York University School of Medicine, but he dropped out after two years to join the army reserves.

Carl Celian Icahn is an American business magnate, investor, activist shareholder, and philanthropist. He is the founder and majority shareholder of Icahn Enterprises, a diversified conglomerate holding company based in New York City, formerly known as American Real Estate Partners.

He was ranked the 43rd richest person in the world on 2016 Forbes list of billionaires, with a net worth of US$17 billion.

11) Francois Pinault

Francois Pinault is another one of the dropout billionaires how left his High School to start the business. His personal art collection encompasses 2,000-plus works by the likes of Picasso, Mondrian and Jeff Koons etc.

François Pinault is a French businessman and art collector and chairman of Groupe Artemis, a holding company for the family’s art, wine, and insurance investments among other interests.

He was ranked the 84th richest person in the world on 2016 Forbes list of billionaires, with a net worth of US$11.5 billion.

12) Andrew Beal – Drop Out, Baylor University

One of the shrewdest investors in the country, Texas banker Andy Beal bought two of the most expensive homes in Dallas real estate history within a span of a few months in 2016. One is a 25-acre estate that was listed for $100 million and neighbors one of George W. Bush’s residences, and another is a 6-acre estate listed for $60 million. Beal, a college dropout, made a tidy sum during the Great Recession, buying distressed assets while the nation’s biggest banks were getting taxpayer bailouts. He placed a big bet on U.S. oil and gas in 2015, offering secured loans to energy producers, but with cratering oil prices, he hasn’t yet struck gold. In 2001 he gambled against the world’s top poker players at the Bellagio in Las Vegas in one of the highest-stakes poker games ever. The mathematics enthusiast developed the Beal Conjecture, a complex mathematical problem, in 1993, and offered $1 million to anyone who could solve it. No one has.

He was ranked the 115th richest person in the world on 2016 Forbes list of billionaires, with a net worth of US$9.5

13) Donald Newhouse – Donald Newhouse

Donald Newhouse and his brother Samuel “Si” Newhouse–heirs to the multimillion-dollar publishing and broadcasting empire Advance Publications–took over for their father Sam upon his death in 1979. Si, who became chairman emeritus in 2015, ran the glossy magazines of its Conde Nast unit. Donald has overseen the newspaper business that his father built up from a single daily, The Staten Island Advance, and is president of Advance Publications. Newspapers it owns include the Newark Star-Ledger, the New Orleans Times-Picayune and the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Like the industry at large, however, profits, circulation, and ad revenues have been declining in recent years, prompting Advance to cut print editions and focus on a controversial “digital-first” strategy directed by Donald’s son, Steven. In addition, the company owns social news site Reddit and a substantial stake in Discovery Communications. In a deal that closed in April 2016, the Newhouse brothers sold cable TV company Bright House Networks to John Malone’s Charter Communications for $11.4 billion in cash and stock.

14) Dustin Moskovitz – Drop Out, Harvard University

Dustin Moskovitz helped launch Facebook with then-roommate Mark Zuckerberg from their Harvard dorm. He dropped out of Harvard after two years and joined Zuckerberg in Palo Alto to work on Facebook. After leaving the social network in 2008, he cofounded Asana, a workflow software company, though most of his net worth still comes from his estimated 3% stake in Facebook; he has an agreement that allows Mark Zuckerberg to vote his shares. Moskovitz is married to former Wall Street Journal reporter Cari Tuna. Together, the couple has built philanthropic foundation Good Ventures, which has given millions of dollars to causes that range from malaria eradication to marriage equality. In September, the couple also committed $20 million to Democrats for the 2016 election cycle. The great grandson of immigrants from Russia and Poland, Moskovitz wrote in a blog post that “the Republican Party, and Donald Trump in particular, is running on a zero-sum vision, stressing a false contest between their constituency and the rest of the world.”

15) Jan Koum – Drop Out, San Jose State University

Jan Koum cofounded WhatsApp, now the world’s biggest mobile messaging service, in 2009. Facebook bought it for about $22 billion in cash and stock in 2014; Koum now sits on Facebook’s board. Born in the Ukraine, Koum and his mother immigrated to California when he was 16 and got an apartment through government assistance. She babysat and he swept floors to make ends meet. When she was diagnosed with cancer, they lived off her disability. He had a knack for computers and got a job working at Yahoo as a security and infrastructure engineer for nearly nine years under Yahoo cofounder and billionaire David Filo, before leaving in 2007. In October 2014 Koum donated roughly $555 million of Facebook shares to the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, which provides grants for local needs, and has diverted some of the funds to several undisclosed causes. Between February and May 2016, Koum donated just over 6 million shares of Facebook to an undisclosed recipient.

16) Micky Arison $7.1 Billion- Drop Out, University of Miami

Micky Arison is chairman of the world’s largest cruise ship operator, Carnival Corp., which accounts for nearly half of all cruises globally. Cofounded by his father, Ted (d. 1999), in 1972, Arison left the University of Miami to join the new company. He spent 34 years as CEO, helping grow Carnival’s fleet from two ships to more than 100, before stepping down in June 2013. His final two years at the helm were filled with public relations nightmares: In January 2012 its Costa Concordia ship crashed off the coast of Italy, killing 32, and a year later a fire aboard the Carnival Triumph left passengers stranded with limited water and bathroom access for five days, earning the nickname of “Poop Cruise.” In 1995 Micky took control of the Miami Heat, the NBA franchise his father helped bring to Florida. Beginning in 2010 the team made four straight NBA Finals appearances — winning two championships — before losing its two biggest stars, LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, in June 2014 and 2016, respectively. Arison was born in Tel Aviv and immigrated to the U.S. as a young child.

17) David Geffen ,$6.5 Billion – Drop Out, The University of Texas at Austin

David Geffen made a fortune from music and the movies. A college dropout, he used a fake UCLA degree to land a mailroom job at the William Morris Agency. Geffen later founded Asylum Records and Geffen Records, launching careers of bands including The Eagles, Aerosmith and Guns N’ Roses. In 1990 he sold Asylum to MCA for $550 million. Four years later, with Steven Spielberg and Jeffrey Katzenberg, he raised $2 billion to start movie studio DreamWorks SKG. No longer involved in the entertainment business, he is focusing on investments outside Hollywood, including his contemporary art collection, which includes works by Jasper Johns, Willem De Kooning and Jackson Pollock. In April 2016, he donated $100 million to the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, which will name a new wing for him. In 2015, the Lincoln Center unveiled the David Geffen Hall, formerly known as Avery Fisher Hall, after Geffen gave $100 million for the hall’s renovation.

18) Travis Kalanick, Drop Out, University of California, Los Angeles

While other startups compares themselves to Uber, Travis Kalanick is thinking about what’s next: from people to freight, if something is in motion, he wants to be at the center of it. Kalanick has already driven his taxi-killing startup from nothing to a valuation of $68 billion in just seven years. In June 2016 the company raised a massive $5.5 billion financing round that included a large investment from Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund. But despite investing those billions around the world, Uber can’t win everywhere. In July 2016, it admitted defeat in China, striking a deal that gives it 20% of rival Didi Chuxing in exchange for leaving the country. Kalanick started his first business, an online file-exchange service called Scour, with some UCLA classmates. He dropped out of UCLA in 1998 to work at the startup full time. It was later sued by the Motion Picture Association of America and the Recording Industry Association of America before filing for bankruptcy in 2000. His second company, another file-sharing company called RedSwoosh, was sold to Akamai in an all-stock deal valued at $18.7 million in 2007.
19) Giorgio Armani, Drop Out, University of Piacenza
A living legend in the fashion world, Giorgio Armani was born into a working-class family in Piacenza, Italy. After a stint at medical school, Armani fulfilled his military service and then got a job as a buyer and window dresser for La Rinascente, a department store in Milan. Armani left to design clothes for Nino Cerutti and eventually launched his own line in the mid-1970s with the help of his partner Sergio Galeotti. Known for his fitted, minimalist style, Armani’s business surged after he was asked to design the wardrobe for the 1980 Hollywood blockbuster film American Gigolo, starring Richard Gere. Since then, the brand has expanded into every corner of fashion including accessories, perfumes, makeup, jeans, sportswear, and haute couture-as well as interior design, real estate, restaurants, and hotels. Giorgio is the sole owner of the Armani empire.
20) Jack Taylor & family,  Drop Out, Washington University
Jack Taylor, the founder of Enterprise Rent A Car, died on July 2, 2016 at age 94 after a brief illness. He founded Enterprise Holdings, the St. Louis-based car rental company in 1957, naming the company after the aircraft carrier he served on during World War II. Taylor ran the company until 1991, when his son Andrew took over as CEO. In 2013 Andrew became executive chairman; Pamela Nicholson took over as the first non-family member CEO. Taylor’s daughter Jo Ann Taylor Kindle is president of the Enterprise Holdings Foundation, the company’s charitable arm. Taylor and his family own an estimated 87.5% of Enterprise Holdings. Enterprise operates the largest rental fleet in the world with more than 1.7 million cars and trucks under the Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Alamo and National brands. Jack Taylor is survived by his children Andrew and Jo Ann, five granddaughters and three great-grandchildren.
21) Charles Dolan, Drop Out, John Carroll University
22) Richard Branson, Drop Out, High School
One of Britain’s highest-profile billionaires, Richard Branson owes his fortune to a conglomerate of businesses bearing the Virgin brand, many of which he no longer controls. Among his more famous exits: the sale of Virgin Records for $1 billion in 1992, which reportedly made Branson run down London’s Ladbroke Grove crying. He still has dozens of business ventures, though, including financial services firm Virgin Money and Virgin airlines based in the U.K., America and Australia. One of his best-known projects — private spaceflight company Virgin Galactic — faced a setback in October 2014 when one of its spaceships exploded in mid-air, killing a test pilot and injuring another. Still, Branson continues to develop rocket-powered planes with the goal of transporting tourists to space. In 2015 he and private equity firm CVC Capital Partners sold around 80% of the Virgin Active health club chain to South African tycoon Christo Wiese’s company, Brait SA. Branson also announced Virgin Cruises, which is which is set to launch in 2020. He lives on Necker Island, the British Virgin Islands retreat he bought in 1978 for $180,000.

23) Albert Frere, Drop Out, High School

Albert Frere owns CNP, a media, utilities and oil empire that he built from his family’s scrap-metal business. In July 2008 he completed what some say is the greatest coup of his career, helping push through the stalled mega-merger of CNP subsidiary Suez with French utility Gaz de France. The merged company, European energy giant GDF Suez, is one of the largest independent electricity suppliers in the world; Frere remains its vice chairman. Born the son of a nail merchant, he helped with the family business from an early age. His father died when Frere was 17, so he left school and ran the company. At age 30, he started investing in Belgian steel factories and by the end of the 1970s practically controlled the whole steel industry in the region of Charleroi. He expanded into finance, investing through his Pargesa holding company. In Bordeaux, he co-owns Chateau Cheval Blanc with fellow billionaire and LVMH Chairman Bernard Arnault.
24) Sheldon Solow, Drop Out, New York University
After years of gridlock, Sheldon Solow finally broke ground on the east side of Manhattan in March 2016; he plans to build a 42-story residential building overlooking the East River, designed by architect Richard Meier. Son of a bricklayer who immigrated from Russia and a homemaker from Brooklyn, Solow risked everything in 1972 to build 9 W. 57 St. Now home to KKR, Apollo Global Management, Tiger Global Management, and Chanel, it is famous for its unobstructed view of Central Park. He also owns several nearby buildings and recently paid $128 million for 16 West 57th Street, a 24,000 square foot, five-story retail and office building. A well-known art collector, Solow reportedly sold his 1909 Picasso painting, “Femme assise” at Sotheby’s for $64 million; he bought it in 1973 for $440,000. Solow has many more pieces, including works by Boticelli, Balthus, Matisse, and Kline.
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