To accomplish great things in life, you don’t have to be born with a silver spoon in your mouth, but it helps. Even so, many of today’s billionaires had modest beginnings. Growing up poor didn’t discourage these CEOs, actors, and industry experts from achieving success — and it shouldn’t deter you either.

Take a look at how these famous people got to the top, whether you need some encouragement to start your own company or want to learn how to become a billionaire.

Oprah Winfrey


The key to this billionaire’s and media mogul’s unprecedented success isn’t family money.  Oprah Winfrey was born to a teenage single mother in Mississippi and is now worth an estimated $3.1 billion. She spoke about growing up without running water or power in an interview.

Winfrey was able to break into the media industry by concentrating on education, competing in beauty pageants, and then working at a radio station. She got her first break in television as the host of “People Are Talking,” a local Baltimore talk show.

In an episode of “The Oprah Winfrey Show” from 2001, Winfrey offered some advice about adopting a wealth mentality.

Howard Schultz

Billionaire, starbucks

Starbucks Chairman and CEO Howard Schultz helped the business expand into the giant coffee retailer today, with 23,000 retail stores in 73 countries and a market cap of $85 billion. However, this prosperous businessman, with a net worth of $2.9 billion, did not come from a wealthy family.

Schultz talked about his upbringing and what it was like to grow up poor.

After working in several dead-end jobs that provided neither money nor respect, Schultz said his father became a “broken man.” However, this adversity seems to have inspired Schultz to become the success he is today.

Ralph Lauren

Ralph Lauren

Ralph Lauren is a well-known fashion brand known for its polo shirts and high-end ties. But did you know that the legendary fashion designer once couldn’t afford to buy clothes?

Lauren is one of the world’s wealthiest fashion stars, with a net worth of $5.9 billion.

Larry Ellison

Larry Ellison, the founder and former CEO of Oracle, was born in New York City but raised on the South Side of Chicago in a lower-middle-class neighborhood.

Larry Ellison

“After moving from the Lower East Side of Manhattan to a still-worse area on the South Side of Chicago, I’ll never complain about living in a poor neighborhood again,” Ellison said in an interview. She kept her mouth shut about the neighborhood until her ninth month.

Ellison’s childhood home was described as a “cramped walk-up apartment” in a 1997 Vanity Fair profile. According to the paper, Ellison was raised by his great-aunt and great-uncle, who were once prosperous real estate investors who lost everything during the Great Depression.

Despite his humble roots, Ellison has grown into a multibillionaire with a net worth of $61.8 billion. Today Oracle has a market value of about $183 billion.

Kenneth Langone

Kenneth Langone, kenny

Kenneth Langone, the self-made billionaire businessman, and investor who helped found Home Depot, comes from modest beginnings.

Langone said he had a “charmed life” as a child, but not because of his material wealth. In reality, his mother worked in a cafeteria. Despite this, Langone benefited from unconditional love, which later helped him overcome his mistakes and not allow them to bring him down.

He explained, “If you’re in the risk-taking industry at the stage that I am, not everything you do is going to succeed.” “When it doesn’t work, and you start being abusive to yourself in terms of your strengths and skill, that’s when you lose.”

Langone now has a net worth of $3 billion.

Sheldon Adelson

Sheldon Adelson

Sheldon Adelson is the chairman and CEO of Las Vegas Sands, America’s largest casino group. Still, he had to fight hard for his $35.2 billion fortune. He was born in a rough Boston neighborhood to Eastern European Jewish immigrants. He grew up in a one-room tenement with his parents and three siblings.

Adelson described how his tough childhood helped him become a prosperous businessman.

He explained how his parents were poor, and they didn’t have even $100 in the bank when they died 11 days apart in 1985. Their whole lives. They gave their children everything they had. He doesn’t come from a place of privilege or a pair of white shoes.

According to The New York Times, he has given more than $50 million to Jewish schools in the Las Vegas and Boston areas and another $50 million to the Yad Vashem World Holocaust Remembrance Center.

Alan Gerry

Alan Gerry

In Liberty, New York, Alan Gerry grew up during the Great Depression and now has a net worth of $1.4 billion. Gerry’s father, a frozen food distributor, struggled to feed his family on his salary.

During World War II, Gerry dropped out of high school to join the Marines. He used his GI Bill benefits to train in television repair and invested $1,500 in his hometown’s cable system in 1956. His company expanded over the years to include 64 cable systems in 18 states. In 1996, he sold the company to Time Warner for $2.7 billion, which included $900 million in personal benefit.

Gerry used the money to launch Granite Associates, a venture capital firm and has continued to give back to the community where he grew up, including the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts.