10 Rich People Who Never Went to College

Turns out that a formal education isn’t a necessary stop on the road to enormous wealth. More than a quarter of billionaires – including Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and Microsoft’s Bill Gates – are college dropouts. But these 10 self-made million- and billionaires never attended a single day of college lectures. Many even dropped out in high school to start their entrepreneurial adventures in their teens.

Simon Cowell, TV personality and record producer

Famous for his biting criticisms on American Idol, The X Factor, and Britain’s Got Talent, Cowell dropped out of high school at 16. Cowell got his first gig in music business staffing the mailroom at EMI Music Publishing and worked his way up to talent scout. After starting two now-failed record labels, he produced and judged the British hit TV show Pop Idol. Next on the stop to riches was American Idol. Cowell is now worth $500 million and earns a reported $95 million a year.

Helga Esteb / Shutterstock.com
Helga Esteb / Shutterstock.com

Idol fans may love to hate Cowell’s villainous on-air personality, but he has a soft side. He’s heavily involved in charity work, supporting curing childhood disease, animal rights, and disaster relief.