15 Insanely Successful Dropouts

No degree? No problem! These dropouts went on to much bigger, much better. Catch Jobs, about the innovator—and yes, dropout—in theaters August 16.

1. Mark Zuckerberg

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Great success: Co-founder and chairman of Facebook.
Dropped out of: Harvard University

2. Anna Wintour

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Great success: Editor-in-chief of Vogue and creative director of Condé Nast.
Dropped out of: North London Collegiate

3. Edward Albee

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Great success: Pulitzer and Tony-winning playwright. Most well-known works include The Sandbox and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?.
Dropped out of: Trinity College, where he was expelled (also expelled from two high schools)

4. Woody Allen

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Great success: Prolific writer, director, and comedian.
Dropped out of: New York University (and flunked out of City College)

5. Dame Julie Andrews

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Great success: Singer and actress who has received one or more Academy Awards, Emmy Awards, Golden Globe Awards, Grammy Awards, BAFTAs, People’s Choice Awards, Theatre World Awards, Kennedy Center Honors, and Screen Actors Guild Awards. Also she’s Mary Poppins.
Dropped out of: High school

6. George Carlin

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Great success: An incredibly well-respected comic whose routine “Seven Dirty Words” heavily influenced a 1978 Supreme Court decision that upheld the government’s right to censor indecent material on public air.
Dropped out of: Catholic high school

7. Carla Bruni-Sarkozy

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Great success: Singer, songwriter, model, and former First Lady of France.
Dropped out of: University of Paris

8. F. Scott Fitzgerald

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Great success: Author of The Great Gatsby, coiner of the term “Jazz Age.”
Dropped out of: Princeton University

9. Warren Beatty

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Great success: Writer, director, and actor. Two times, he was nominated for Academy Awards as producer, director, writer, and actor all on the same film: once for Reds, and once more for Heaven Can Wait.
Dropped out of: Northwestern University

10. Madonna

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Great success: She’s Madonna.
Dropped out of: University of Michigan

11. Sir Richard Branson

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Great success: Founder and chairman of Virgin Group (which includes Virgin Air and Virgin Records), eccentric billionaire.
Dropped out of: Boarding school

12. Ralph Lauren

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Great success: Founder of fashion and lifestyle brand Polo Ralph Lauren.
Dropped out of: Baruch College

13. Colonel Harlan Sanders

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Great success: Founder of KFC.
Dropped out of: Elementary school

14. Bill Gates

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Great success: Co-founder, chairman, and one time CEO of Microsoft.
Dropped out of: Harvard

15. Steve Jobs

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Great success: Co-founder and CEO of Apple Inc., co-founder of Pixar.
Dropped out of: Reed College

Check out Ashton Kutcher as the famous dropout in Jobs.

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