It’s pretty impressive to be a billionaire at all, but there’s certainly a difference between creating your own wealth and just inheriting it. These five billionaires all came from modest beginnings and worked hard to get where they are today without much help from anyone else.
Amancio Ortega, Founder of Zara
The second richest man in the world started with humble beginnings. This self-made billionaire is the son of a railroad worker, but eventually founded the popular chain, Zara. He learned to make clothes early in life, which likely paved the way for his eventual career. Thanks to his hard work and savvy business skills, Ortega is now worth over 75 billion dollars.
Daryl Katz, Chairman of Rexall Health
With over 3 billion dollars to his name, Canadian-born Daryl Katz garnered his wealth through the pharmaceutical industry. He first bought a struggling U.S. company, and later purchased and revived Rexall Health. Katz now focuses his attention on revitalizing his hometown of Edmonton and has poured money into the downtown, building a stadium for the NHL team the Edmonton Oilers.
Jeff Bezos, Founder of Amazon
With just under 50 billion dollars to his name, Jeff Bezos took a risk that clearly paid off. While working in finance, Bezos caught wind of the potential growth of internet sales and decided to pack up and move to Seattle and start Amazon. Bezos reportedly took his own packages to the post office in the early days of the startup but has since shaped the market of internet sales. Bezos is now shooting for the moon, literally, with his latest venture into space travel.
Warren Buffet, CEO Berkshire Hathaway
It seems like Warren Buffet is synonymous with “billionaire” but don’t make the mistake of thinking he didn’t earn every penny. This savvy investor started at the age of 11 by investing in pinball machines. Buffet went on to receive an undergrad degree in his home state of Nebraska and a Master’s degree from the Ivy League, Columbia University. Buffet still lives in his home in Omaha, Nebraska that he first bought for less than 35,000 dollars.
Larry Ellison, Founder of Oracle
To say Larry Ellison comes from humble beginnings is putting it mildly. Ellison, the founder of the computer company Oracle, was given up for adoption at nine months old by his single mother. He was raised by his great aunt and uncle, and although he went to college, he dropped out twice. Now worth over 50 billion dollars, he wasn’t even introduced to computers until he went back to college for the second time. He started what would later become Oracle with just 1,200 dollars, and almost lost it when Oracle almost went bankrupt; however, Ellison still thrives today.
It’s not difficult to become a billionaire when you start out with millions, but coming from practically nothing and making billions is a whole different story. These five billionaires did it all on their own, and can be proud of their money knowing that they are true success stories.