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18 people who went from being poor to mega rich

Last updated on: December 28, 2012 13:48 IST

18 people who went from being poor to mega rich

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There are some people who are born wealthy and then there are some who become rich.

Let's take a look at 18 people who grew up in poverty, but turned their lives around.

Source: Business Insider

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Image: Rolls-Royce convertible is seen parked on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills.
Photographs: Fred Prouser/Reuters
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Howard Schultz

Company: Chairman and CEO of Starbucks.

Net worth: $1.5 billion.

Background: He was born on July 19, 1953, in a government housing project in Brooklyn, New York. His father was a truck driver.

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Image: Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz stands in his office at his company's corporate headquarters in Seattle, Washington.
Photographs: Anthony Bolante/Reuters

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Sam Walton

Company: Founder of Walmart.

Net worth: $23 billion.

Background: He helped his family out by milking the cow and driving the milk out to customers. He also delivered newspapers and sold magazine subscriptions, according to Business Insider.

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Image: Walmart Stores founder Sam Walton.
Photographs: Handout/Reuters

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Sheldon Adelson

Company: Chairman and CEO of the Las Vegas Sands.

Net worth: $20.5 billion.

Background: His father drove a taxi and mother ran a knitting store.

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Image: Sheldon Adelson with his wife Miriam attend the opening ceremony of the Four Seasons Macao hotel and casino in Macau.
Photographs: Bobby Yipt/Reuters

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Ingvar Kamprad

Company: Founder of IKEA.

Net worth: $42.2 billion.

Background: He was raised on a farm in Sweden. Kamprad bought matches in bulk from capital Stockholm to sell to his neighbours and later expanded to fish, Christmas decorations and pens.

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Image: Ingvar Kamprad, founder of furniture retail chain IKEA.
Photographs: Jean-Bernard Sieber/Reuters

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18 people who went from being poor to mega rich

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Roman Abramovich

Company: Main owner of private investment company Millhouse and owner of Chelsea Football Club.

Net worth: $14 billion.

Background: Abramovich's parents died before he was four, and was raised by his extended family in Ukhta, Russia, later moving to Moscow.

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Image: Roman Abramovich.
Photographs: Andrew Winning/Reuters

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Kirk Kerkorian

Company: CEO of Tracinda Corporation.

Net worth: $16 billion.

Background: Kerkorian, whose parents were Armenian immigrants, learned English on the streets and dropped out of eighth grade to become a boxer.

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Image: Kirk Kerkorian.
Photographs: Mario Anzuoni/Reuters

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18 people who went from being poor to mega rich

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Francois Pinault

Company: Owner of PPR, a luxury goods group that sells brands like Gucci and Stella McCartney.

Net worth: $12 billion.

Background: He quit high school after being teased for his poor background and joined his family's timber business.

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Image: Francois, left, with his son Francois-Henri Pinault, right, in Rennes, France.
Photographs: Stephane Mahe/Reuters

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Li Ka-shing

Company: Chairman of Cheung Kong Holdings and Hutchison Whampoa.

Net worth: $25.5 billion.

Background: His father died when he was 15, so he quit school to support his family.

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Image: Li Ka-shing.
Photographs: Siu Chiu/Reuters

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18 people who went from being poor to mega rich

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George Soros

Company: Chairman of Soros Fund Management.

Net worth: $20 billion.

Background: He put himself through the London School of Economics by working as a waiter and railway porter.

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Image: George Soros with his girlfriend Tamiko Bolton at Soros's residence in Southampton, New York.
Photographs: Handout/Reuters

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Maria das Gracas Silva Foster

Company: CEO of Petrobras-Petroleo Brasil, Brazil's state-controlled oil company.

Net worth: N/A.

Background: She grew up with an alcoholic father in an extremely poor neighbourhood. Maria collected cans and paper to make extra money.

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Image: Maria das Gracas Silva Foster in Brasilia, Brazil.
Photographs: Ueslei Marcelino/Reuters

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Guy Laliberte

Company: Co-founder and the current CEO of Cirque du Soleil, a Canadian entertainment company.

Net worth: $2.6 billion.

Background: He began his carrier by playing harmonica and accordion on the streets of Quebec and later joined a performing troupe that included fire-breathers, jugglers and acrobats.

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Image: Cirque du Soleil founder Guy Laliberte with his book Gaia in Montreal, Canada.
Photographs: Christinne Muschi/Reuters
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John Paul DeJoria

Company: Founder of Paul Mitchell line of hair products.

Net worth: $4 billion.

Background: His parents divorced by the time he was two years old, and at nine he began selling Christmas cards and newspapers with his older brother to support his family.

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Image: John Paul DeJoria with his wife Eloise in Nashville, Tennessee, United States.
Photographs: Eric Henderson/Reuters

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Richard Desmond

Company: Publisher/Businessman.

Net worth: $1.5 billion.

Background: Desmond grew up the son of a single mother after his parents divorced. The two of them lived above a garage.

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Image: Richard Desmond in London.
Photographs: Olivia Harris/Reuters
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Leonardo Del Vecchio

Company: Founder of Luxottica.

Net worth: $11 billion.

Background: His father died five months prior to his birth. He was given to an orphanage by his mother because she was unable to support him financially. He began his career as an apprentice to a tool and dye maker in Milan, Italy.

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Image: Leonardo Del Vecchio.
Photographs: Source: ilmessaggero.it

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Zdenek Bakala

Company: Majority stakes in coal mines.

Net worth: $1.9 billion.

Background: He fled Czechoslovakia to the United States with a $50 dollar bill wrapped in plastic wrap hidden in a sandwich.

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Image: Zdenek Bakala with Michaela Malacova.
Photographs: Source: tn.nova.cz

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Harold Simmons

Company: Chairman, Valhi Incorporated.

Net worth: $7.1 billion.

Background: He grew up in the extremely rural town of Golden, Texas, where he lived in a "shack" that had no plumbing or electricity.

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Image: Harold Simmons.
Photographs: Source: sunlightfoundation.com

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Do Won Chang

Company: Founder of retail store Forever 21.

Net worth: $4 billion.

Background: When he first arrived in the United States from South Korea, Do Won was forced to work three jobs at the same time to support his family, as a janitor, a gas station attendant and in a coffee shop.

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Image: Do Won Chang with daughter Linda.
Photographs: Source: thisismoney.co.uk

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Ursula Burns

Company: Chairperson and CEO of Xerox.

Net worth: N/A.

Background: She was raised by a single mother in a government housing project in New York. Her mother ran a daycare centre from home and ironed shirts to send Burns to school.


Image: Ursula Burns in New York.
Photographs: Brendan McDermid/Reuters

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