Self-Made: 8 billionaires who grew up in poor families

Table of contents:

Self-Made: 8 billionaires who grew up in poor families
Self-Made: 8 billionaires who grew up in poor families

We are used to thinking that wealth and success are available only to the elite, children of wealthy parents are engaged in business, and it is almost impossible to make big money by being born into a poor family. We prove that this is not the case.

Shot from film
Shot from film

From year to year there are examples of people who managed to create global corporations and become rich solely thanks to their own mind, talent and diligence. One of them is Glenn Stearns, who, despite a difficult childhood in a poor family, was able to make a fortune. Now, from the height of his experience, he is ready to get involved in a desperate adventure - in 90 days, with only a hundred dollars and a mobile phone in his pocket, try to start a profitable company from scratch. This experiment is featured in the Undercover Billionaire program, which airs on Sundays at 11:00 am on the Discovery Channel.

In it, Glenn will try to prove that ability and acumen are crucial, not capital, including social, and, leaving all his achievements and connections behind, he will try to start again from the beginning. Let's see if he succeeds, but for now - we have compiled for you a selection of world famous billionaires who built their own business, having nothing to heart.

Sergey Brin, $ 47.5 billion

The co-founder of Google was born in Moscow into a family of a research assistant and engineer, and in 1979 he emigrated with his parents to the United States, when he was only five years old. Having settled in Maryland, Sergei's mother began working at NASA, and his father began teaching at the University of Maryland. On his ninth birthday, his parents gave Sergei a computer, and soon the boy began to amaze everyone with his programming skills.

Having entered the University of Maryland with a degree in Mathematics and Computing Systems, Sergey graduated ahead of schedule and went to Silicon Valley for further studies at Stanford University. There, in the early 1990s, he met a novice scientist Larry Page, with whom he began to develop a system to simplify the use of the Internet.

Finding an investor and borrowing the missing amount of money from relatives and friends, in 1998 the partners created Google, the first office of which was located in the garage of Sergei's girlfriend. Two years later, the project won the prestigious Webby Awards, and in 2004 Brin and Page were included in the Forbes billionaire rating.

Jack Ma, $ 35.8 billion

The richest man in China today was born into a family of middle-income musicians. From early childhood, Ma studied English, and after school went to university to become an English teacher. After college, Jack worked as a teacher at the university with a salary of $ 12-15 per month. In the early 1990s, Ma faced difficulties in finding a job and later said in an interview that he was not even hired as an assistant manager at a fast food chain.

In 1995, Ma came to the United States as a translator, where he first used the Internet. Realizing that there is practically no Chinese content on the web, he returned to his homeland and opened the Chinese Yellow Pages company, which creates websites. Four years later, Jack and 17 friends founded the Alibaba Group, a trading platform for small and medium-sized businesses. At first, the company was unprofitable, but profits began to rise after the development of a system through which Chinese exporters could find customers in the United States. Subsequently, Ma also created Taobao, Alipay, and Ali Mama.

Glenn Stearns, over one billion dollars

American Glenn Stearns grew up in a dysfunctional family and became a father at the age of only 14. The teenager had a hard time attending school due to dyslexia and graduated with extremely low grades. While many of his entourage were addicted to alcohol and drugs, Glenn, as he himself said in an interview, met people on his way who helped him find the right goals and life attitudes. With a lot of effort, he became the first university graduate in his family. After graduation, Stearns moved to California, where he rented a one-room apartment with five other graduates. The young man had to sleep on the kitchen floor.

At 25, after ten months as a lending specialist, Stearns founded his own mortgage company, Stearns Lending LLC. In 2002, he won the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award. Several years ago, Glenn sold his company for $ 2.2 billion.

The businessman is sure that everyone can get rich, and he is going to check whether his knowledge and experience will help to create a company that will cost a million dollars in just 90 days. To do this, he participates in the Undercover Billionaire program, which airs on Sundays at 11:00 on the Discovery Channel. Glenn will only have a phone, a car and $ 100 at his disposal.

At the same time, his identity will remain classified to others, so he will have to make connections and get a job in order to create a company from scratch. If Glenn Stearns succeeds, then after 90 days he will hand over the business he has built to a worthy candidate who will help him the most on the way, and only then will he tell who he really is.

Mark Zuckerberg, $ 70 billion

The future Facebook founder was born into a family of doctors - a psychiatrist and a dentist. At school, Zuckerberg was fond of programming, and after graduation he entered the Faculty of Psychology at Harvard University, but did not finish it, becoming interested in IT and starting to develop the social network Facebook.

While the official salary of the president and CEO of Facebook is only $ 1, he owns 24% of the company, which made him the youngest billionaire in history in 2010. In 2018, Forbes ranked him the fifth richest person in the world, calling him a $ 70 billion multibillionaire.

Yang Kum, over $ 9.2 billion

Born into the family of a housewife and a builder in Kiev, Jan Kum could not even imagine how his fate would turn out. As a child, I had to live in Spartan conditions - there was no electricity and hot water in the house. In the early 1990s, Yang emigrated to California with his mother and grandmother. At first, Yana's mother worked as a nanny, and he himself worked as a cleaner in a grocery store. When the mother was diagnosed with cancer, the family had to survive on her disability benefits and receive food on social stamps.

As a teenager, Ian became interested in programming and hacking, using information from textbooks that he rented from second-hand booksellers. After school, he went to university and got a job in the information security department of the Ernst & Young consulting company. After some time, the future developer met with Yahoo manager Brian Acton and went to work for the company.

In 2009, having bought an iPhone, Qom set out to create an application that would allow you to post statuses that are visible to all friends from your contact list. As conceived by the author, the statuses were supposed to inform that the user is on the phone, is busy, or that his phone is running out of battery. Then Qom developed WhatsApp, which is familiar to almost everyone today. He also recruited an old friend, Brian Acton, to work for the new company, whose connections helped attract the first investment. The application became popular in 2009 when the function of sending images appeared. In 2013, WhatsApp becomes the leader of the AppStore, and a year later, Facebook buys the company for $ 19 billion.

Elon Musk, over $ 22.5 billion

The future inventor and entrepreneur was born in South Africa in the family of an entrepreneur and model. As a child, Elon was withdrawn and did not communicate with peers, but instead read books. At school, the boy was called a nerd and bullied him. One day, classmates beat Musk so badly that he had to be hospitalized. When he was eight years old, his parents divorced, and Ilon and his brother and sister stayed with their father.

At the age of ten, the future engineer received a computer as a gift from his father and immediately became interested in programming. Elon earned his first money two years later, selling the shooter game Blastar developed by him for $ 500. The teenager invested his earnings in the shares of a pharmaceutical company, which he followed in the media. After graduating from high school, Musk moved to Canada, entered the university and began to earn money. The future billionaire picked fruit and carried grain on the farm from relatives, then got a job as a lumberjack for a meager payment, after which he began working as a boiler room cleaner for $ 18 an hour.

Elon and his brother created the first company, Zip2, which develops maps and catalogs for online publications. The business did not develop as quickly as Musk wanted, but hard work allowed him to bring it to such a level that investors were interested in it. He invested 22 million of the proceeds from the sale of the company in the online bank, which merged with Confinity and became PayPal.

The company was subsequently sold to eBay, making Musk $ 180 million. In 2002, his third company, SpaceX, was founded, a private launch vehicle developer and operator of cosmetic systems. In parallel with his work at SpaceX, Elon co-founded the Tesla electric car brand. In 2013, the engineer presented a project to create a high-speed transport network Hyperloop, which involves the movement of special vacuum capsules powered by solar panels inside a tube at a speed of over 1000 kilometers per hour. Musk did not take on the construction of the Hyperloop, so Hyperloop Transportation Technologies took over the further work on the project.

Alan Jerry, $ 1.5 billion

Alan Jerry was born in 1929 in the state of New York into a family of immigrants from Russia. The boy's father was a food delivery man, and the family often struggled to make ends meet. Alan did not finish high school and went to serve in the Marine Corps during World War II. At the end of his service, Jerry went to study in TV repair. In 1951, he started his own business selling, installing and repairing televisions. Signal quality was poor due to the mountainous terrain, so sales were poor.

Then Alan came up with the idea to install antennas on the tops of nearby mountains so that the signal would become available to all residents of the city. In 1956, he convinced seven local businessmen to invest in a local cable television system that would use antennas on top of the mountains to receive the signal and then transmit it over the cable to private homeowners. The business subsequently expanded to 64 cable systems in 18 states. In the 1980s, Jerry created a microwave delivery system, and then became one of the first in the distribution of fiber optic cables.

Alan Jerry is now 89 and still in business: The entrepreneur founded an investment company focused on telephony and communications startups, in which he himself serves as chairman and CEO.

Li Kashin, over $ 29.6 billion

Li Kashing was born in Guangdong, China, to a schoolteacher. In 1940, the Kashin family fled mainland China to Hong Kong, where they settled with relatives. At the age of ten, the boy miraculously recovered from tuberculosis, from which his father later died, unable to pay for the treatment. Then the teenager, who had not even finished five grades, had to start earning money - Lee began selling watch straps. Soon the boy got a job at a factory for the production of plastic flowers: he worked for 16 hours in hazardous production, after which he studied at night school.

The career of the future billionaire in business began with the accumulation of modest capital and the sale of artificial flowers. With the money raised from sales, he opened his own company, Cheung Kong, which was engaged in the production of plastic products - toys, soap dishes, combs, flowers, which were exported to the United States. The business brought in a good income, which allowed Kashin to start buying up Hong Kong real estate.

In 1979, he bought the British company Hutchison Whampoa, which focused on retail, logistics, port construction, real estate and hospitality. In the 1980s, Kashin began investing in new areas of the economy and advanced technologies. The peculiarity of his tactics was that he predicted which areas in the future would become profitable, bought up companies at a low price and sold when they increased in price. In the years that followed, Lee invested in energy, oil and gas, mobile communications and wireless internet. In the 2000s, the visionary businessman bought up stocks in Skype, Facebook, Siri, and Spotify. Now 91 years old, Li Kashin still owns the assets of a large number of companies, and is also involved in strategic planning and philanthropy.

Whether Glenn Stearns will be able to create a new business from scratch, without connections and capital, find out in the "Undercover Billionaire" program, which airs on Sundays at 11:00 on Discovery Channel.

Popular by topic