We often think of starting out with nothing and ending up being rich as some sort of a pipe dream that only happens in the movies. The fact of the matter is, is that there are a number of millionaires and billionaires that were even more downtrodden than you or I at one time in their lives. The people on this list all came from poverty stricken beginnings, only to have an idea and work hard enough at it to turn themselves into the richest of the rich. You’ll never believe just how bad some had it starting out.
Ursula Burns was born in a low-income housing project in New York City. Her mother told Ursula that the only way to get out of poverty was to get a good education, so Burns studied mechanical engineering at NYU. She eventually landed at Xerox and worked her way to becoming the company’s CEO. While her net worth might pale in comparison to some of the billionaires on this list, she’s made history as being one of the world’s only black female CEO’s of a major company.
Chris Gardner started off with a tough childhood complete with an abusive step father. In order to get away from that poverty, he enlisted in the armed forces and then worked one menial job after another. Eventually he went through an executive training program, and eventually started his own company. His story was interesting enough that Will Smith even played him in Pursuit of Happyness.
Everyone knows JK Rowling as the author of one of the most popular book series of all time. What people may not realize is that at one time, she was living off of welfare after a failed marriage left her trying to provide for her daughter. After writing Harry Potter, the author’s career took off.