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Famous Dropouts

July 27, 2017

Quitters never win…or do they? (This article was first published in Uncle John’s Fast-Acting, Long-Lasting Bathroom Reader.)
Tom Brokaw

Absent Anchors 

Peter Jennings was a poor student in high school and only lasted until 10th grade. Tom Brokaw, the president of the student body in high school, dropped out of the University of Iowa after, as he put it, he “majored in beer and coeds for a couple of years.”

Wayward Writers 

Although their books are required reading in many high schools and universities, but neither Charles Dickens, Joseph Conrad, Herman Melville, George Bernard Shaw, William Faulkner, nor Jack London finished school themselves.

Class-Cutting Commanders 

U.S. presidents George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Andrew Jackson, Martin van Buren, and Grover Cleveland all had little or no formal education. British Prime Minister John Major didn’t finish high school.

Forbes-List Flunkies 

Microsoft’s Bill Gates, the richest man in the world, was a college dropout. John D. Rockefeller never finished high school. Neither did Andrew Carnegie, Henry Ford, or Virgin’s Richard Branson. Dave Thomas of Wendy’s and Ray Kroc of McDonald’s also dropped out—but they got jobs in fast food.

Errant Entertainers 

Robert De Niro, Humphrey Bogart, Sean Connery, Walt Disney, Quentin Tarantino, and Patrick Stewart never finished school. Musical misfits include Frank Sinatra, Elton John, and composers Irving Berlin and George Gershwin. Sonny Bono, who later became a U.S. congressman, dropped out of school in the 10th grade.

Non-Passing Pioneers 

Wilbur and Orville Wright were dropouts. Thomas Edison left school to educate himself, as did Albert Einstein. However, the rumor that Einstein flunked math is not true. In fact, he earned high grades, and was ahead of his class in many subjects. Still, his teachers did not think he was an especially brilliant student. Einstein did go back to earn a doctorate of Physics in 1905, but later offered this warning: “If one studies too zealously, one easily loses his pants.”
Uncle John's Fast-Acting Long-Lasting Bathroom Reader

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