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Noted High School and Elementary School Dropouts


Celebrity Research Lists — Master List
Last Updated/Checked: August 2, 2014     Dropout List Updates

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Information Sources: Current Biography Yearbook editions 1959-2005 & 2007, biographies, autobiographies, interviews, news stories.

Three Dropout Lists Follow:

Total Names:  765
Males:  587
Females:  178

Billionaires:  25
Millionaires:  uncounted
U.S. Presidents:  8
Astronauts:  1  (Valentina Tereshkova)
Nobel Prize Winners:  10  (6 Literature, 2 Peace, 1 Physics, 1 Chemistry)
Olympic Medal Winners:  8  (7 Gold Medalists, one Silver Medalist)
Oscar Winners:  63
Oscar Nominees:  105  (includes above)
Other Award Winners:  uncounted
Best-Selling Authors:  56
Presidential Medal of Freedom recipients (U.S.'s highest civilian honor):  15 (needs updating; likely higher)
Congressional Gold Medal recipients (U.S.): 12
United Nations Goodwill Ambassadors:  2  (Roger Moore, Angelina Jolie)
Knighthoods:  28
Damehoods:  3

Note: Individuals leave school prior to graduation for a variety of reasons, not just the automatically assumed "failing grades" or being a "troublemaker." Other reasons include a health problem, pregnancy, a need to help the family earn income, a tragic loss to the family, a need to care for siblings or an ailing parent, frequent relocation, war or natural catastrophe conditions in home country, unresolved problems with teachers or classmates, boredom due to education quality issues, or a desire to devote full time to an already established or emerging professional career. There are high-school dropouts in the membership of Mensa, the high-IQ organization. Alternative terms for "dropout" used by the military and educational institutions are "non-high school graduate" and "high-school nongraduate."

While it is a fact and very important to stress that more opportunities exist for individuals who have at least a high school diploma, the names on these lists also add considerable weight to the discussion of what constitutes markers of human intelligence and a person's potential worth to society and historically civilization as a whole. These names represent examples of human perseverance, creativity, and in a great many instances genius. These are the most comprehensive lists ever compiled on this subject, but are by no means complete.



Noted Individuals - High School and Elementary School Dropouts

(elementary school dropouts where indicated)

Reminder: There are two additional Lists immediately following this first one. If you cannot find the name you are looking for on this first list, please scroll down and try the other two.

A

Abigail Adams.......wife of the 2nd U.S. President John Adams; America's 2nd First Lady (no formal education; home schooling/life experience).
Ansel Adams.........American wilderness photographer; best-selling photography book author; Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient.
Bryan Adams......Oscar-nominated songwriter-singer.
Sheldon Adelson......self-made billionaire American hotel and casino businessman.
Miguel Adrover.....Spanish-born fashion designer.
Christina Aguilera....rock star.
Jack Albertson......Oscar-winning actor.
Peter Allen.........Oscar-winning Australian songwriter-composer-singer.
Rick Allen . . . rock star; member of "Def Leppard."
Dhirubhai Ambani....self-made billionaire Indian businessman.
Anthony Andrews.....actor.
Julie Andrews.......Oscar-winning actress-singer; best-selling British author (as Julie Andrews Edwards); bestowed the rank of Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the year 2000 (United Kingdom: Dame Julie Andrews).
Christina Applegate......actress.
Edwin Apps.........British artist.
Joan Armatrading....singer-songwriter.
Louis Armstrong.....singer-musician.
Eddy Arnold.........country music star; Country Music Hall of Fame inductee.
Cliff Arquette ("Charlie Weaver")....comedian-entertainer; American author.
Brooke Astor........wealthy American socialite-philanthropist-author; Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient
John Jacob Astor......self-made multimillionaire German-born early American businesssman; America's first multimillionaire.
Chet Atkins.........country music star; Country Music Hall of Fame inductee; Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee; American author.
Jane Austen......best-selling British author (elementary school dropout).
Gene Autry......Oscar-nominated singer-songwriter; the first "singing cowboy"; wrote and co-wrote over 200 songs, including "Back in the Saddle Again" and "Here Comes Santa Claus"; recorded famous rendition of the Johhny Marks song "Rudolph, the Red- Nosed Reindeer"; actor-producer; self-made multimillionaire American businessman; author; Country Music Hall of Fame inductee; National Cowboy Hall of Fame inductee; only person to have five stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in honor of career achievements in five entertainment fields.
Richard Avedon......American photographer-author.
Willy Aybar.....baseball player.
--------------- High School and Elementary School Dropouts ---------------

B

Kevin Bacon.......actor-singer-songwriter; member of the band "The Bacon Brothers".
Pearl Bailey........singer-actress; Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient; American author.
Josephine Baker.....singer-dancer-actress.
Lucille Ball........actress-comedienne-producer; Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient; American author.
Hubert Howe Bancroft....American historian-bookseller.
Brigitte Bardot.....actress; former model; French author.
Roseanne Barr.......actress-comedienne-producer-director; American author.
Fantasia Barrino......singer-actress; American author; American Idol television talent show contest winner (season 3; 2004).
Drew Barrymore......actress-producer; American author.
John Bartlett.......best-selling American author.
Jean-Michel Basquiat......artist-actor.
Shirley Bassey......singer; British author; bestowed the rank of Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the year 2000 (United Kingdom: Dame Shirley Bassey).
Bill Bartman........self-made billionaire American businessman.
Count Basie.........bandleader-pianist.
Sean Bean......actor.
Beck (Beck Hansen)....rock star.
Boris Becker.....tennis player; three-time Wimbledon champion.
Anne Beiler......self-made multimillionaire American businesswoman; founder of "Auntie Anne's Pretzels" fast-food restaurant chain.
Jean-Paul Belmondo....actor.
Jack Benny..........comedian-actor-violinist.
Irving Berlin.......Oscar-winning American songwriter-composer; film story writer; Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient; Congressional Gold Medal recipient.
Yogi Berra.........baseball player-coach-manager; National Baseball Hall of Fame inductee; best-selling American author; famous quote: "It ain't over till it's over."
Claude Berri........Oscar-winning French film director- producer.
Luc Besson..........French film director-writer-producer (La Femme Nikita, The Fifth Element, etc.); knighted (France: Chevalier [Knight] of the Legion of Honor; Chevalier [or Chev.] Luc Besson).
Joey Bishop.........comedian-entertainer.
Clint Black.........country music star; American author.
Norman Blake....musician; guitarist.
William Blake.......British poet.
Mary J. Blige......singer-songwriter.
Humphrey Bogart.....Oscar-winning actor.
Peter Bogdanovich....Oscar-nominated American film director-screenwriter (The Last Picture Show, Paper Moon, Mask, etc.); book author.
Michael Bolton......singer-songwriter; American author.
Sonny Bono...........singer-songwriter-actor; U.S. Congressman (California U.S. Representative); best-selling American author.
Daniel Boone........early American frontiersman (little formal education; home schooling/life experience).
John Boorman........Oscar-nominated British film director (Deliverance, Excalibur, etc.).
Bjorn Borg..........tennis player; five-time Wimbledon champion; Swedish-born author.
Daniel Boulud.....chef, American restauranteur; French-born cookbook author and television personality.
Clara Bow....early Hollywood actress
David Bowie.........singer-songwriter-musician-actor; Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee; British author.
Boy George..........rock star; British author.
Barbara Taylor Bradford....best-selling British romance author.
Billy Bragg......rock star.
Marlon Brando.......Oscar-winning actor; American author.
Richard Branson.....self-made billionaire British businessman; founder of "Virgin Atlantic Airways," "Virgin Records," etc.; best-selling British author; knighted (United Kingdom: Sir Richard Branson).
Jacques Brel.......singer-songwriter.
Joseph Brodsky.......Nobel Prize-winning Russian-born American poet.
Charles Bronson.....actor.
Gary Brooker.......rock star.
Louise Brooks.......silent-film actress; American author.
Pierce Brosnan......actor.
Margaret Brown.....American socialite; Titanic survivor ("the Unsinkable Molly Brown").
Gisele Bündchen.....actress; supermodel.
George Burns........Oscar-winning actor-comedian; American author (elementary school dropout).
Pete Burns.......rock star (elementary school dropout).
Ellen Burnstyn......Oscar-winning actress.
Raymond Burr.......actor.
Terry Butters.....singer-musician; pianist.
--------------- High School and Elementary School Dropouts ---------------

C

Sebastian Cabot.....actor.
Sammy Cahn..........Oscar-winning American songwriter-composer; American author.
Martin Caidin.......American author; aviation expert; psychokinesis researcher; literary works include the novels "Cyborg" on which the TV series "The Six Million Dollar Man" was based and "Marooned," the basis for the 1969 Oscar-winning movie about astronauts trapped in space.
Michael Caine.......Oscar-winning actor; best-selling British author; knighted (United Kingdom: Sir Michael Caine).
Glen Campbell.......country music star; American author.
Neve Campbell.......actress.
Marth Jane Canary ("Calamity Jane")........American Old West frontierswoman (no formal education).
Eddie Cantor......actor-singer-comedian-producer; American author (elementary school dropout).
Jennifer Capriati......tennis player.
George Carlin.......comedian-actor; best-selling American author.
Andrew Carnegie.....self-made multimillionaire American businessman-philanthropist (elementary school dropout).
Jim Carrey..........actor-writer-comedian.
Kit Carson.....early American frontier guide; trapper; soldier; Indian agent (no formal education; learned to read and write in his mid 50s).
Giacomo Casanova....Itlaian-born author; diplomat, spy; playboy.
John Chancellor.....American television journalist; evening news anchorman; author.
Charlie Chaplin.....Oscar-winning actor-writer-director- producer; British-born author; knighted (United Kingdom: Sir Charlie [or Charles] Chaplin) (elementary school dropout).
Ray Charles.........singer-pianist; one of the first Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees; American author.
Cher......Oscar-winning actress-singer; best-selling American author.
Maurice Chevalier....Oscar-winning actor-singer; French-born author; French Legion of Honor inductee/Medal recipient (note: rank bestowed in 1938 [Knight?] still being researched; if you know this detail or can research French-language websites and find out, please send the missing information the webmaster).
Agatha Christie......best-selling British author; bestowed the rank of Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the year 1971 (United Kingdom: Dame Agatha Christie) (no formal education; home schooling/life experience; studied singing and piano at age 16).
Liz Claiborne.......fashion designer.
Eric Clapton......rock star; British author.
John Clare........British poet (elementary school dropout).
Samuel L. Clemens ("Mark Twain")....best-selling American author; humorist (elementary school dropout).
Roberto Clemente....baseball player; National Baseball Hall of Fame inductee.
Kurt Cobain........rock star; lead singer of the band "Nirvana."
Eddie Cochran.....rock star.
Jackie Cochran.....pioneering American female aviation pilot; Aviation Hall of Fame inductee; author (elementary school dropout).
Joe Cocker.......rock star.
William Cody ("Buffalo Bill")....Pony Express rider; U.S. Army scout; Wild West show founder (elementary school dropout).
Harry Cohn.....American film producer; early Hollywood pioneer; co-founder of Columbia Pictures.
Toni Collette.......Oscar-nominated actress.
Jackie Collins......best-selling British-born author.
Phil Collins........Oscar-winning songwriter-singer.
Christopher Columbus....Italian explorer (little formal education; home schooling/life experience; went to sea in his youth).
Perry Como..........singer.
Billy Connolly......comedian-actor-musician; Scottish author.
Joseph Conrad......best-selling Polish-born British author (little formal education; home schooling/life experience; went to sea in his youth).
Russ Conway.....pianist; composer.
James Cook........British explorer (little formal education; home schooling/life experience; went to sea in his youth).
Jack Kent Cooke.....self-made billionaire Canadian-born American media businessman.
Elvis Costello.......rock star; Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee.
Noel Coward.........Oscar-winning actor-director-producer- playwright-composer; British author knighted (United Kingdom: Sir Noel Coward) (elementary school dropout).
Simon Cowell......music producer; oncamera judge on the television series American Idol and Pop idol (UK).
Joan Crawford.......Oscar-winning actress; American author; former dancer.
Michael Crawford....actor-singer; British author.
Davy Crockett.......early American frontiersman; U.S. Congressman (Tennessee U.S. Representative); died at the battle of the Alamo (little formal education [six months]; home schooling/life experience).
Ben Cross........actor.
Russell Crowe......Oscar-winning actor.
Tom Cruise..........Oscar-nominated actor.
Charles E. Culpeper....self-made multimillionaire American businessman; early 1900s' owner and head of "The Coca Cola Bottling Company."
--------------- High School and Elementary School Dropouts ---------------

D

Jim Dale............Oscar-nominated songwriter-singer-actor.
Jerry Daley......artist.
Roger Daltry........singer-actor; member of the rock group "The Who."
Beverly D'Angelo.....actress
Sammy Davis Jr......singer-dancer-actor-entertainer; American author (elementary school dropout)
Robert De Niro......Oscar-winning actor-producer; knighted (France: Chevalier [Knight] of the Legion of Honor; Chevalier [or Chev.] Robert De Niro).
Felix Dennis........self-made multimillionaire British magazine publisher ("Maxim" magazine, etc.).
Lloyd Dennis....Canadian author; teacher; lecturer; awarded the Order of Canada and the Order of Ontario
Reginald Denny......actor.
Gerard Depardieu....Oscar-nominated actor; knighted (France: Chevalier [or Chev.] Gerard Depardieu) (elementary school dropout).
Johnny Depp.........Oscar-nominated actor.
Bo Derek............actress; American author.
Richard Desmond.....self-made billionaire British publisher
Diana........Princess of Wales.
Charles Dickins.....best-selling British author (elementary school dropout).
Bo Diddley..........rock star; Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee.
Matt Dillon......Oscar-nominated actor.
Joe DiMaggio........baseball player; National Baseball Hall of Fame inductee; Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient; American author.
Celine Dion.......Oscar-winning singer; Canadian-born author.
Thomas Dolby........musician-composer; music producer.
Francis Drake.......British explorer; knighted (United Kingdom: Sir Francis Drake) (little formal education; home schooling/life experience; went to sea in his youth).
Theodore Dreiser.....American author
Patty Duke......Oscar-winning actress; best-selling American author; former president of the Screen Actors Guild.
Isadora Duncan......dancer; American author (elementary school dropout).
Charles Durning.....Oscar-nominated actor.
--------------- High School and Elementary School Dropouts ---------------

E

James B. Eads......early American engineer; bridge builder; inventor of the diving bell.
Jeanne Eagels.....Oscar-nominated early Hollywood actress; Broadway actress.
Steve Earle.....country music star.
Dale Earnhardt Sr.......race-car driver.
George Eastman......self-made multimillionaire American inventor-founder of the "Kodak" roll film camera and corporation.
Eazy-E (Eric Lynn Wright)......American rap singer.
Thomas Edison.......self-made multimillionaire American inventor; electrical power usage pioneer; filmmaker; Congressional Gold Medal recipient; knighted (France: first bestowed the rank of Chevalier [Knight], then later upgraded to Officer, then Commander; Commander [or Cmdr.] Thomas Edison) (elementary school dropout).
Duke Ellington......Oscar-nominated American composer- bandleader; Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient; author.
Michael Elliot.......American screenwriter-producer.
James Ellroy........best-selling American author.
Eminem......Oscar-winning songwriter-singer; rap music singer; actor.
Robert Evans......Oscar-nominated American film producer (Chinatown, Marathon Man, Urban Cowboy, Popeye, etc.); movie studio executive; author.
Oliver Evans.......American inventor (little formal education).
Rupert Everett......actor; British-born author.
--------------- High School and Elementary School Dropouts ---------------

F

Adam Faith......rock star; actor.
Lola Falana.........singer.
Nick Faldo..........golfer; British author.
Michael Faraday......British physicist; chemist.
Colin Farrell.......actor.
Jose Feliciano......singer-guitarist.
Tom Felton........actor.
Joschka Fischer.....German politician; Foreign Minister.
Bobby Fischer.......world chess champion.
Scott Fischer......world-class mountain climber-guide; expedition business owner.
Carl G. Fisher......self-made multimillionaire American businessman; land developer; original developer of Miami Beach, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, etc. (elementary school dropout).
Ella Fitzgerald.....singer; Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient.
James Flagg.....magazine and poster illustrator; artist of the famous "Uncle Sam" World War II "I Want You . . . for U.S. Army" recruiting poster; American author
Errol Flynn.......actor; Tasmanian-born author.
Henry Ford..........self-made multimillionaire American businessman; auto manufacturing pioneer; founder of the "Ford Motor Company."
George Foreman......Olympic Gold Medal boxer; best-selling American author; businessman.
Redd Foxx...........actor-comedian.
A. J. Foyt.........race-car driver; American author.
Peter Frampton.....rock star.
Aretha Franklin....singer; Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee; American author.
Benjamin Franklin....American politician-diplomat-author-printer-publisher-scientist-inventor; co-author and co-signer of the U.S. Declaration of Independence; one of the founders of The United States of America; face is pictured on the U.S. one-hundred dollar bill (little formal education [less than two years]; home schooling/life experience).
Joe Frazier........Olympic Gold Medal boxer; American author.
Nick Frost.......British actor.
Samuel Fuller......American film director-writer-actor (director: Merrill's Marauders, The Big Red One, etc.).
Furuzan.......Turkish-born female author (elementary school dropout).
--------------- High School and Elementary School Dropouts ---------------

G

Clark Gable........Oscar-winning actor.
Eva Gabor..........actress.
Kaba Gandhi.......father of Indian political leader Mohandas "Mathatma" Gandhi (no formal education; home schooling/life experience).
Karasandas Gandhi.....older brother of Indian political leader Matahma Gandhi (left school when he and his brother were married to girls in arranged marriages; his brother, the future political leader returned to school a year later at age 14).
Greta Garbo........Oscar-winning actress.
Mary Gauthier.......singer-songwriter.
Marvin Gaye........singer; Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee.
Henry George......best-selling American author; economist (elementary school dropout).
George Gershwin....Oscar-nominated American songwriter-composer; Congressional Gold Medal recipient.
Amadeo Peter Giannini....American-born founder of "Bank of America."
Andy Gibb..........rock star (elementary school dropout).
Barry Gibb.........rock star; member of "The Bee Gees"; British author.
Maurice Gibb.......rock star; member of "The Bee Gees."
Robin Gibb.........rock star; member of "The Bee Gees."
Lillian Gish.......Oscar-winning actress; early Hollywood pioneer; American author.
Jackie Gleason.....Oscar-nominated actor-comedian-entertainer.
Whoopie Goldberg....Oscar-winning actress-comedienne; best-selling American author.
Samuel Gompers.....U.S. labor leader pioneer (elementary school dropout)
Cuba Gooding Jr........Oscar-winning actor.
Benny Goodman.....bandleader-clarinetist; American author.
Maksim Gorky......Russian author (elementary school dropout).
Marjoe Gortner....actor; former child evangelist.
Jay Gould......self-made multimillionaire American financier and railroad builder.
Graham Gouldman.....rock star.
Lew Grade.........British film/TV producer (TV: The Avengers, The Saint, Secret Agent, The Prisoner, The Muppet Show, etc.); Russian-born British author; knighted (United Kingdom: Sir Lew Grade).
Cary Grant........Oscar-winning actor.
W.T.Grant.........self-made multimillionaire American businessman; founder of the "W.T. Grant Company" department store chain.
Horace Greeley....American newspaper publisher-editor; U.S. Congressman; 1872 U.S. Presidential candidate; co-founder of the Republican party in the United States.
Ashley Greene......actress.
Roy Greensmith....British politician; Sheriff of Nottingham 1995-1996; Lord Mayor of Nottingham 1997-1998, 2001-present.
D.W. Griffith.....Oscar-winning American film director; early Hollywood pioneer.
Dave Grohl......rock star; founding member of the band "Foo Fighters"; former member of the band "Nirvana."
Woody Guthrie.....folk singer-songwriter; Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee; American author.
--------------- High School and Elementary School Dropouts ---------------

H

Thomas Haffa......self-made billionaire German media businessman (double- digit billionaire in the late 1990s.)
Merle Haggard.....country music star; Country Music Hall of Fame inductee; American author.
Wang Hai........Chinese consumer advocate.
Bill Haley.....rock star; founding member of the band "Bill Haley and His Comets; recorded famous rendition of the song "Rock Around the Clock; Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee.
Pete Hamill......journalist; best-selling American author.
Laird Hamilton.....surfer; surfing video producer-consultant; former model.
Susan Hampshire....actress; best-selling British author.
Dian Hanson......American magazine publisher and editor.
Jean Harlow......actress.
Jet Harris......rock star.
George Harrison....Oscar-winning songwriter-singer-guitarist; former member of "The Beatles"; Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee.
John Harrison......British inventor of the first naval chronometer; inventor and maker of clocks and watches (little formal education; home schooling/life experience).
Beth Hart........singer-songwriter-pianist.
Laurence Harvey....Oscar-nominated actor.
Rutger Hauer........actor.
Paul Hawkin........American businessman-author.
Sterling Hayden....actor; American author.
Thomas Hearns......boxer.
Margaux Hemingway......actress-model.
Arthur Henderson....Nobel Prize-winning British Politician; co-founder of the Labour Party; Foreign Secretary 1929-1931; peace conference president (1934 Nobel Peace Prize) (dropped out of school at age 12 to work in a locomotive parts iron foundry).
Kenneth Hendricks......self-made billionaire American businessman.
Lance Henriksen.......actor.
Milton Hershey . . . self-made multimillionaire American businessman; founder of the Hershey Chocolate Company; namesake of Hershey, Pennsylvania (dropped out of school in the fourth grade).
Karl Hess.........American author; political speechwriter; former "Newsweek" magazine editor.
Benny Hill.........comedian-entertainer; TV comedy-show host.
Al Hirschfeld......caricaturist; American author.
Jimi Hocking......rock star.
Eric Hoffer.......American author-philosopher; Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient.
Paul Hogan.........Oscar-nominated screenwriter-actor.
James Hogg.......Scottish poet (elementary school dropout).
Billie Holiday.....singer (elementary school dropout).
Larry Holmes.......boxer; American author (elementary school dropout).
Soichiro Honda......self-made multimillionaire Japaneses businessman; motorcycle industry pioneer; founder of the Honda Motor Company.
Beland Honderich (Beland Hugh Honderich).......Canadian newspaper publisher; businessman.
John Lee Hooker....blues singer-musician; Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee.
Fiona Horne.........rock star; Australian-born author; "Australia's most famous witch."
Lena Horne.........singer-actress.
Harry Houdini.....magician; escape artist; paranormal investigator; Hungarian-born American author.
Djimon Hounsou......Oscar-nominated actor; former model.
Bobby Hull.........hockey player; Canadian author.
J.B. Hunt . . . self-made American multimillionaire transportation businessman (elementary school dropout).
H.L. Hunt........self-made billionaire American oil industrialist (elementary school dropout).
John Huston........Oscar-winning American film director-actor (The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, The Maltese Falcon, The African Queen, etc.); book author.
--------------- High School and Elementary School Dropouts ---------------

I

Janis Ian.......singer-songwriter; American author.
Iman........actress-model; Somalia-born author.
Natalie Imbruglia......rock star; actress.
B. K. S. Iyengar......Indian yogi (yoga guru).
--------------- High School and Elementary School Dropouts ---------------

J

Wolfman Jack.......radio-show host; television personality; actor; American author.
Tony Jacklin.......golfer; British author.
Peter Jackson......Oscar-winning New Zealand film director-writer-producer (The Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Frighteners, etc.).
Allen W. Jacobson.....early Boeing Company executive; directed American warplane development and production during World War II.
Elizabeth Jagger....runway/photography model; daughter of rock star Mick Jagger and model Jerry Hall.
Jay-Z (Shawn Corey Carter)....American rap singer; music producer.
Billy Joel.........rock star; Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee; American author.
Elton John.........Oscar-winning songwriter-singer; Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee; British author; knighted (United Kingdom: Sir Elton John).
Andrew Johnson.....17th U.S. President (no formal education; home schooling/life experience).
Catherine Zeta-Jones......Oscar-winning actress-singer-dancer.
Davy Jones..........singer; actor; member of the band "The Monkees."
George Jones.......country music star; American author (elementary school dropout).
John Paul Jones.....Scottish-born American Revolutionary War U.S. navy commander; famous quote: "I have not yet begun to fight." (little formal education; home schooling/life experience; went to sea in his youth.)
Rickie Lee Jones....pop-jazz singer-songwriter.
Tom Jones..........singer.
Leon Jouhaux.......Nobel Prize-winning French labor leader pioneer (1951 Nobel Peace Prize).
--------------- High School and Elementary School Dropouts ---------------

K

Joshua Kadison.......singer-songwriter-musician.
Henry J. Kaiser....self-made multimillionaire American businessman; founder of "Kaiser Aluminum and Chemical Corporation," "Kaiser Steel," etc.
Hitomi Kanehara....Japanese writer.
Garson Kanin.......Oscar-nominated screenwriter; playwright- stage director; American author.
David Karp........self-made multimillionaire American-born businessman; founder of the Internet blogging platform Tumblr.
Li Ka-shing......self-made billionaire Chinese-born businessman.
Carmen Kass........supermodel.
Mathieu Kassovitz......French film director-actor-producer.
Miura Kazuyoshi......Japanese-born soccer player.
Kirk Kerkorian......self-made billionaire American businessman.
Chaka Khan.........rock star.
Nicole Kidman......Oscar-nominated actress.
Kid Rock (Robert Ritchie)......rock star; actor.
Jean-Claude Killy....Olympic Gold Medal skier; French author.
Alan King..........comedian-producer; American author.
B.B. King........singer-guitarist; Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee.
George Kirby.......comedian-impressionist.
Eartha Kitt........singer-actress; author.
Evel Knievel.......motorcycle daredevil; American author.
Gladys Knight......rock star; Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee; American author.
J. Fred Knobloch.......country music star.
Yaphet Kotto.......actor.
Kane Kramer......British inventor of the technology behind the iPod.
Ray Kroc...........self-made billionaire American businessman; founder of the "McDonald's" fast-food restaurant chain; author.
Karolina Kurkova.......supermodel.
--------------- High School and Elementary School Dropouts ---------------

L

Jimmy Lai......self-made multimillionaire Chinese-born Hong Kong businessman; newspaper and magazine publisher; founder of the "Giordano" clothing store chain (elementary school dropout).
Frederick "Freddy" Laker....self-made multimillionaire British businessman; airline entrepeneur; knighted (United Kingdom: Sir Frederick [or Freddy] Laker).
Barbara La Marr.....early Hollywood actress-screenwriter
Louis L'Amour......best-selling American author of Old West stories and novels; Congressional Gold Medal recipient.
Burton Lane........Oscar-nominated American songwriter- film/stage composer.
Cleo Lane..........singer-actress.
Tommy Lasorda......baseball team manager; National Baseball Hall of Fame inductee; American author.
Rod Laver..........tennis player; four-time Wimbledon champion; tennis's first millionaire; Australian author.
Jude Law..........Oscar-nominated actor.
Steve Lawrence.....singer-actor-entertainer.
Richard Leakey.......paleoanthropologist; Nairobi-born author.
David Lean.........Oscar-winning British film director (Lawrence of Arabia, Dr.Zhivago, etc.); knighted (United Kingdom: Sir David Lean).
Henrietta Leaver.....Miss America 1935.
Heath Ledger........Oscar-winning actor.
Albert Lee.......rock star.
Jason Lee.........actor.
Edward Leedskalnin....American sculptor of the Coral Castle in Florida (elementary school dropout).
Anton van Leeuwenhoek....Dutch microscope maker; world's first microbiologist; discoverer of bacteria, blood cells, and sperm cells).
Jennifer Jason Leigh....actress.
Jarod Leto........actor.
Oscar Levant.......American composer-pianist-actor.
Joseph Levine......American film producer (The Graduate, The Lion in Winter, etc.).
Adolph Lewis......self-made multimillionaire American businessman; inventor of the "Slim Jim" meat stick snack in the 1940s.
Jerry Lewis........actor-comedian-singer-entertainer- humanitarian; American author; knighted (France: Chevalier [or Chev.] Jerry Lewis).
Joe Lewis........self-made billionaire British businessman.
Thomas Lincoln.......father of U.S. President Abraham Lincoln (no formal education) (see son in Equivalency list below).
Carl Lindner.......self-made billionaire American businessman.
Frank Lindner......artist.
Mark Lindsay.......rock star; member of "Paul Revere & the Raiders."
Little Richard.....rock star; one of the first Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees.
Brian Littrell.......rock star; member of "Backstreet Boys."
LL Cool J (James T. Smith)......rock star.
John Llewellyn.....U.S. Labor leader pioneer; for 40 years until his retirement, president of the United Mine Workers' Union.
Marcus Loew........self-made multimillionaire American businessman; early Hollywood pioneer; founder of the "Loews" movie- theater chain; co-founder of "MGM" studios (elementary school dropout).
Dave Lon..........musician.
Julie London.......singer-actress.
Trini Lopez........singer-actor.
Traci Lords........actress-singer-songwriter; American author.
Sophia Loren.......Oscar-winning actress; best-selling Italian- born author; former model (elementary school dropout).
Joe Louis..........boxer; Congressional Gold Medal recipient; American author.
Courtney Love......Oscar-nominated actress; rock star.
Daniel Ludwig......self-made billionaire American businessman (graduated 8th grade; no high schooling).
Bela Lugosi.......actor.
Loretta Lynn.......country music star; Country Music Hall of Fame inductee; American author; Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient.
Shelby Lynne......singer-songwriter.
Mary Lyon.........American women's education pioneer; early American teacher; founder of Mount Holyoke College (America's first women's college).
--------------- High School and Elementary School Dropouts ---------------

M

Gwendolyn MacEwen....Canadian poet.
John Major.........British Prime Minister 1990-1997; author.
Thomas Karran Maltby....Australian politician; Speaker of the Legislative Assembly 1947-1950; knighted (Sir Thomas Karran Maltby).
Shirley Manson.....rock star.
Sophie Marceau......actress-director; French-born author.
Audrey Marnay......French top runway/photography model.
Evan Marriot.......actor; former model; original "Joe Millionaire" of the reality TV series of the same name.
Jean Marsh.........actress; British author.
Wanda Marsh.......artist; woodcarver; American author.
Dean Martin........singer-actor-entertainer.
Harry Edmund Martinson....Nobel Prize-winning Swedish author (little formal education; home schooling/life experience; went to sea in his youth).
Moa Martinson.....Swedish author.
Lee Marvin.........Oscar-winning actor.
Groucho Marx.......Oscar-winning actor-comedian; American author (elementary school dropout).
Henry Maudslay.....British engineering inventor.
Robert Maxwell.....self-made billionaire British publisher.
Elaine May..........Oscar-nominated screenwriter-actress- director-comedienne; American author.
Oseola McCarty......American author (elementary school dropout).
Patrick McGoohan......actor.
Ewan McGregor......actor.
Rod McKuen.........best-selling American poet (elementary school dropout).
Florence Melton.....American inventor-businesswoman- philanthropist; inventor of the foam-lined slipper and removable shoulder pad.
Herman Melville....best-selling American author (Moby Dick, etc.).
Natalie Merchant......rock star.
Melina Mercouri....Oscar-nominated actress; Greek-born author; Greek politician.
George Michael.....rock star.
Alyssa Milano......actress.
Frankie Miller......blues singer-songwriter.
Max Miller........British comedian-actor.
Roger Miller.......country music star; Country Music Hall of Fame inductee (elementary school dropout).
Heather Mills......British model; television presenter; author; humanitarian; 1996 Nobel Peace Prize nominee; wife of rock star Paul McCartney.
Liza Minnelli......Oscar-winning actress-singer.
Robert Mitchum.....Oscar-nominated actor; American author.
Tina Modotti......Italian-born photographer; early Hollywood actress (elementary school dropout).
Claude Monet.......artist; French painter (elementary school dropout).
Bill Monroe.....country music star; given the title "the Father of Bluegrass Music"; Country Music Hall of Fame inductee (elementary school dropout).
Marilyn Monroe.....actress-singer; former model.
Yves Montand.......singer-actor; Italian-born French author (elementary school dropout).
John Mooney....blues singer-musician.
Alan Moore.....comic book writer.
Demi Moore.........actress-producer; former model.
Roger Moore........actor; United Nations goodwill ambassador; knighted (United Kingdom: Sir Roger Moore) .
Garrett A. Morgan....American inventor of the gas mask; one of the early inventors of and first to patent the automatic traffic signal.
Van Morrison.......rock star; Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee.
Samantha Mumba.....rock star.
Earl Muntz......self-made multimillionaire businessman; auto dealer; auto manufacturer; inventor; developer of the car stereo tape deck player; television set manufacturing pioneer; coined the term "TV."
David H. Murdock....self-made billionaire American businessman; chairman and CEO of Dole Food Company, Inc.; American author. Also known as David Murdock.
Vali Myers.......artist; former ballet dancer.
--------------- High School and Elementary School Dropouts ---------------

N

Walter Nash.......New Zealand Prime Minister 1957-1960; knighted (United Kingdom: Sir Walter Nash).
Nelly (Cornell Haynes Jr.)......rap music singer;actor.
Helmut Newton......German-born fashion photographer; photography book author.
Wayne Newton.......singer-actor-entertainer; American author.
Olivia Newton-John....singer-actress; British-born Australian author.
Phi Nhung.......Vietnamese-born (Amerasian) American singer.
Florence Nightingale....nursing pioneer; best-selling Italian-born British author (no formal education; home schooling/life experience).
Anais Nin.........French-American author.
--------------- High School and Elementary School Dropouts ---------------

O

Annie Oakley.......American Old West sharpshooter; Wild West show performer (no formal education; home schooling/life experience).
Sean O'Casey.......Irish playwright (elementary school dropout).
Adolph Ochs.......self-made multimillionaire American businessman; early owner and publisher of The New York Times newspaper.
Sinead O'Connor....singer-songwriter.
Gil Ofarim........rock star.
Juan Carlos Onetti.....Uruguayan writer.
Bobby Orr..........hockey player; Canadian author.
Brian Orser........Olympic Silver Medal ice-skater; Canadian author.
Amancio Ortega......self-made billionaire Spanish fashion businessman. Also known as Amancio Ortega Gaona.
Kelly Osbourne.....rock star; daughter of Ozzy Osbourne.
Ozzy Osbourne......rock star; British-born author.
Peter O'Toole......Oscar-winning actor; Irish-born author.
--------------- High School and Elementary School Dropouts ---------------

P

Al Pacino..........Oscar-winning actor.
Thomas Paine.......American Revolutionary War era political theorist; best-selling British-born American author; famous quote: "These are the times that try men's souls." (little formal education; home schooling/life experience).
Charlie Parker.....jazz musician; saxophonist.
Dorothy Parker.....American author; theater critic.
Gordon Parks.......American film director (Shaft, The Super Cops, etc.); "Life" magazine photographer; author.
Henry Parks........English-born Australian newspaper publisher; politician; knighted (United Kingdom: Sir Henry Parks).
Rosa Parks.........U.S. civil rights activist-pioneer; Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient; Congressional Gold Medal recipient; American author.
Jack Parr..........television talk-show host; early television pioneer.
Banjo Patterson....best-selling Australian poet ("Waltzing Matilda," etc.); face is pictured on the Australian ten dollar bank note.
Floyd Patterson....Olympic Gold Medal boxer; American author.
Neil Peart.........rock star; member of "Rush."
Pele.........soccer player; Brazilian-born author (elementary school dropout).
Oren Peli . . . writer-director-producer (filmmaker behind the "found footage" movie Paranormal Activity).
Teddy Pendergrass.....American R&B/soul singer and songwriter.
Joe Pepitone.......baseball player; American author.
Evita Peron........First Lady of Argentina 1946-1952; former stage and radio actress.
Joe Pesci..........Oscar-winning actor.
Jon Peters.........American film producer (Rain Man, The Color Purple, Batman, Caddyshack, etc.) (elementary school dropout).
Phillippe Petit....high-wire artist.
Tom Petty..........rock star; Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee.
Mackenzie Phillips......actress; singer; American author.
Sam Phillips.......rock-and-roll music industry pioneer; founder of Sun Records in Memphis, Tennessee in 1952; music producer- talent scout credited with discovering Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Roy Orbison, etc; Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee; American author.
Joaquin Phoenix....Oscar-nominated actor.
Edith Piaf.......French singer; author.
Slim Pickens.......actor.
Mary Pickford......Oscar-winning actress; early Hollywood pioneer; co-founder of "United Artists Corporation"; Canadian-born American author (little formal education [six months]; home schooling/life experience).
François Pinault......self-made billionaire French businessman.
Pink (Alecia Moore)......rock star.
Donald Pleasance....actor.
Sydney Poitier.....Oscar-winning actor; American author (elementary school dropout).
Sara Polley.......actress-singer.
Teri Polo........actress.
Alexander Pope....early British poet (no formal education; self educated).
Paulina Porizkova......actress; former supermodel.
Paula Poundstone.....comedienne.
Luther Powell......father of U.S. Secretary of State/former General Colin Powell.
Cat Power (Charlyn Marshall).....singer-songwriter.
Charley Pride.......country music star; Country Music Hall of Fame inductee; American author.
Prince..........Oscar-winning songwriter-composer-musician; actor; Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee.
Richard Pryor.......actor-comedian; American author.
Robert John Pryse....British author (little formal education, reportedly just four days of schooling).
Wolfgang Puck.......chef-restauranteur; best-selling Austrian-born author.
Tito Puente.........musician-bandleader; American author.
David Puttnam.......Oscar-winning British film producer (Chariots of Fire, Midnight Express, etc.); knighted (United Kingdom: Sir David Puttnam).
--------------- High School and Elementary School Dropouts ---------------

Q

Anthony Quinn.......Oscar-winning actor; Mexican-born American author.
---------------High School and Elementary School Dropouts ---------------

R

Daniel Radcliffe......actor.
Otis Redding......singer-songwriter; musician.
Keanu Reeves........actor-musician.
Leah Remini.......actress.
Paul Revere.........rock star; lead member of "Paul Revere & the Raiders."
Busta Rhymes......rock star; actor.
Jonathan Rhys Meyers.....actor.
Adam Rich........former child actor.
Buddy Rich..........bandleader-drummer; American author (elementary school dropout).
Tex Rickard.......American Old West lawman; casino owner; prize-fight promoter (elementary school dropout).
Harold Robbins......best-selling American author.
Bill Robinson ("Bojangles")....dancer-actor; vaudeville performer (elementary school dropout).
Ann Marie Roberts....Australian Olympic athelete in clay target shooting (Sydney 2000 summer games).
Nora Roberts......best-selling American author.
Chi Chi Rodriguez....golfer; Puerto Rican-born author.
Roy Rogers..........actor-singer-guitarist; American author.
Will Rogers.........humorist-lecturer-actor-entertainer; best-selling American author; famous quote: "I never met a man I didn't like."
Kjell Inge Rokke.....self-made billionaire Norwegian businessman.
Axl Rose........rock star.
Frederick Henry Royce....self-made multimillionaire British businessman; co-founder-designer of the "Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Company"; knighted (United Kingdom: Sir Frederick Henry Royce) (elementary school dropout).
Ja Rule (Jeffrey Atkins)....rap music singer; actor.
Theresa Russell.....actress; former child model.
Rene Russo..........actress; former top model.
--------------- High School and Elementary School Dropouts ---------------

S

Edmond Safra.......Lebanese-born billionaire banker-philanthropist.
Derek Sanderson.....hockey player; Canadian-born author.
Gene Sarazen.......golfer; American author (elementary school dropout).
David Sarnoff......Russian-born American radio and television pioneer; given the title "Father of American Television" by the Television Broadcasters Association (completed elementary school, but did not attend high school).
William Saroyan.....Oscar-winning screenwriter; Pulitzer Prize- winning American playwright; book author.
Catya Sassoon.......actress; former model.
Vidal Sassoon.......self-made multimillionaire British businessman; founder of "Vidal Sassoon" hairstyling salons, academies, and hair-care products; British author.
Heinrich Schliemann....German archaeologist; wealthy businessman.
Arnold Schönberg....Austrian-born composer.
Seal (Seal Henry Samuel)......rock star.
Charon Severian.....rock star-actress.
William Shakespeare....British playwright; best-selling British author.
George Bernard Shaw....Nobel Prize-winning best-selling Irish-born British author; playwright.
Percy Shaw......self-made millionaire British inventor.
Charlie Sheen.....actor-writer-producer.
Willie Shoemaker....jockey; American author.
Sid Vicious (John Ritchie)......rock star.
John Simplot......self-made billionaire American agricultural businessman. Also known as J.R. Simplot.
Frank Sinatra.......Oscar-winning actor-singer; Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient; Congressional Gold Medal recipient.
Isaac Merrit Singer....American sewing machine inventor; self-made multimillionaire founder of "Singer Industries," "I.M. Singer and Company," etc. (elementary school dropout).
Red Skelton.....actor-comedian-entertainer; TV comedy-show host; artist; American author; Television Hall of Fame inductee (elementary school dropout).
Alfred E. Smith.....New York Governor; 1928 Democratic U.S. Presidential candidate (elementary school dropout).
Anna Nicole Smith....model-actress; 1993 "Playboy" magazine "Playmate of the Year."
Sammi Smith.......country music star.
Howard Solomon......American sculptor of Solomon's Castle in Florida.
Sammy Sosa..........baseball player (no formal education; home schooling/life experience).
John Philip Sousa....American composer-conductor (elementary school dropout).
Henry M. Stanley....British explorer of Africa; author; knighted (United Kingdom: Sir Henry M. Stanley) (little formal education; home schooling/life experience; went to sea in his youth).
Scott Stapp........rock star; lead singer of the band "Creed."
Casey Stengel.......baseball player-coach-manager; National Baseball Hall of Fame inductee.
Ringo Starr.........Oscar-winning songwriter-musician-singer; actor; former member of "The Beatles."
Edward Steichen.....American photographer; Belgian-born American author; knighted (France: Chevalier [or Chev.] Edward Steichen).
Gary L. Stevens......jockey; sports personality; actor; American author.
Hiram Stevens.......American-born engineering inventor; knighted (United Kingdom: Sir Hiram Stevens).
Jackie Stewart......race-car driver; British author knighted (United Kingdom: Sir Jackie Stewart).
Robert Stigwood.....Australian film/TV/record producer (films: Jesus Christ Superstar, Saturday Night Fever, Grease, etc.); author.
Tom Stoppard......Oscar-winning Czechoslovakian-born British screenwriter; playwright.
Larry Storch........actor.
Lyle Stuart........American publisher-author.
Donna Summer........rock star.
Kiefer Sutherland....actor-director.
---------------High School and Elementary School Dropouts ---------------

T

Quentin Tarantino....Oscar-winning American film writer-director (Pulp Fiction, Reservoir Dogs, etc.); book author.
James Taylor........singer-songwriter-musician; Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee.
Koko Taylor......blues singer-songwriter (elementary school dropout).
Zachary Taylor......12th U.S. President (little formal education; home schooling/life experience).
Miguel Tejada.......baseball player.
Charlize Theron......Oscar-winning actress; former model.
Danny Thomas........actor-producer-humanitarian (actor: Make Room for Daddy/The Danny Thomas Show; co-producer: The Dick Van Dyke Show, The Andy Griffith Show, etc.); Congressional Gold Medal recipient; American author.
Rob Thomas......rock star.
Uma Thurman.........Oscar-nominated actress; model.
Alberto Tomba.......Olympic Gold Medal skier.
Randy Travis........country music star-actor; American author; arrested in 2012 near Dallas, Texas for driving while intoxicated, a problem for which others have used a Dallas DWI lawyer for representation.
John Travolta.......Oscar-nominated actor.
Rob Trower.......rock star.
François Truffaut....French film director-producer-writer- actor (director: Fahrenheit 451 [1967], etc.; actor: Close Encounters of the Third Kind, etc.); book author.
Tanya Tucker.....country music star; American author.
Ron Turcotte........jockey.
Twiggy (Lesley Hornby)....actress; British author; former supermodel.
Steven Tyler......rock star; member of "Aerosmith."
--------------- High School and Elementary School Dropouts ---------------

U

Tracey Ullman.......actress-writer-producer-comedienne-singer; British-born author.
Charles Urban.......American-born early documentary/travel/news film producer; pioneer of the movie theater governorindustry in the United States and Great Britain.
Lesser Ury.......German-born artist; painter.
Peter Ustinov.......Oscar-winning actor-writer-director; British author; knighted (United Kingdom: Sir Peter Ustinov).
--------------- High School and Elementary School Dropouts ---------------

V

Fernando Valenzuela....baseball player.
Jean-Claude Van Damme....actor; martial artist.
Cornelius Vanderbilt......self-made American multimillionaire steamship and railroad builder (elementary school dropout).
Gloria Vanderbilt....designer-artist; American author.
Vincent Van Gogh......artist; Dutch painter.
Stevie Ray Vaughan.....blues musician; guitarist.
Diana Vreeland......fashion editor; French-born American author.
--------------- High School and Elementary School Dropouts ---------------

W

Ken Wahl......actor; US magazine's 1989's "Sexiest Man on TV."
Eddie Walker.....folk singer-songwriter; guitarist.
Nancy Walker........actress.
Steve Waller...rock star.
Estella Warren.....actress-model.
George Washington....1st U.S. President; former general; Chairman of the Constitutional Convention; U.S. nickname: "The Father of Our Country"; face is pictured on the U.S. one dollar bill and twenty-five cent coin (quarter) (no formal education; home schooling/life experience; went to sea in his youth).
Doc Watson.......folk singer (blind); guitarist; awarded the National Medal of the Arts by President Clinton in 1997 (elementary school dropout).
Naomi Watts.......actress.
Del E. Webb........self-made multimillionaire American businessman; homebuilder; former co-owner of the New York Yankees baseball team 1945-1965 during 10 World Series wins.
Jimmie Wedell......early American aviator; airplane manufacturer; aviation school co-owner.
Weegee (Arthur Fellig)......Polish-born early American photographer; author.
Lawrence Welk.......bandleader; TV musical-variety show host; American author.
Kitty Wells.....country music star; Country Music Hall of Fame inductee.
Mae West..........actress; American author.
Barry White......singer-songwriter; American author.
Ron Whitehead.....American poet.
Walt Whitman......best-selling American poet (elementary school dropout).
Hank Williams......country music star; Country Music Hall of Fame inductee.
Michelle Williams........Oscar-nominated actress.
August Wilson......Pulitzer Prize-winning American playwright.
Kemmons Wilson.......self-made multimillionaire American businessman; founder of the "Holiday Inn" hotel chain; author.
William Bauchop Wilson....U.S. labor leader pioneer; U.S. Congressman (1907-1913); first U.S. Secretary of Labor (elementary school dropout).
Kate Winslet........Oscar-nominated actress.
Harry Winston.......jeweler; American author.
Ernie Wise........British comedian.
John Woo.......Chinese-born film director (Mission Impossible 2, Broken Arrow, Windtalkers, etc.).
Elijah Wood......actor.
Ian Woosnam........golfer.
Sam Worthington......actor.
Orville Wright......aviation pioneer; Congressional Gold Medal recipient.
Richard Wright.....best-selling American author.
Wilbur Wright.......aviation pioneer; Congressional Gold Medal recipient.
Tammy Wynette.......country music star; American author.
--------------- High School and Elementary School Dropouts ---------------

Y

Angus Young......rock star; co-founder of the band AC/DC.
Malcom Young......rock star; co-founder of the band AC/DC.
Neil Young..........Oscar-nominated songwriter-singer; Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee.
--------------- High School and Elementary School Dropouts ---------------

Z

Mildred "Babe" Didrikson Zaharias....Olympic Gold Medal track- and-field athelete; golfer; women's sports pioneer; National Women's Hall of Fame inductee (won six Gold Medals and broke four world records at the Los Angeles 1932 summer games).



Dropped Out, But Later Received High-School Diploma Equivalency Status

(months, years, or decades later: equivalency diploma, honorary diploma, admission to a college or university, or other schooling or training of high merit)


A

Mortimer Adler......American author; educator-lecturer; former editor of "Encyclopedia Britannica" (left school at 15 to work; later attended Columbia University in New York).
Steven-Elliot Altman....American author (high-IQ high-school dropout; left school after beginning 10th grade and ran away from home; later earned equivalency diploma and entered college at 16, earning a degree at 19).
Hans Christian Andersen.....best-selling Danish author; wrote the stories "The Little Mermaid," "The Emperor's New Clothes," "Thumbelina," "The Ugly Duckling," etc.) (first attended a school for poor children; left home at 14 to find work; later obtained a scholorship and continued his education, which included attending Copenhagen University).
Walter Anderson.....American publishing executive-author; editor of "Parade" magazine (equivalency diploma).
Mario Andretti......race-car driver; Italian-born author (equivalency diploma).
Danni Ashe.........self-made multimillionaire American businesswoman; adult entertainment website operator; producer-model; fomer dancer (equivalency diploma).
--------------- Dropped Out, But Later Received Equivalency Status ---------------

B

Etta Moten Barnett....singer-actress (dropped out of school to get married; six years later enrolled and eventually graduated from the University of Kansas).
Andre Benjamin......rock star (equivalency diploma).
Chuck Berry....rock star; Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee; American author (equivalency diploma, in 1963 at age 37).
Karen Black.........Oscar-nominated actress-screenwriter- producer-songwriter-singer (high-IQ high-school dropout; left school to get married; divorced and earned admission to Northwestern University at age 16, then left at 17 to pursue acting in New York City).
Orlando Bloom.......actor (left high school at 16 to study acting; later won a scholarship to the British American Dramatic Academy).
Herbert Brown.....Nobel Prize-winning British-born American chemist (dropped out of school to help support his family after his father died; later returned and graduated from high school and college).
Abner Burnett.......singer-guitarist (equivalency diploma).
Augusten Burroughs.......best-selling American author (equivalency diploma).
--------------- Dropped Out, But Later Received Equivalency Status ---------------

C

Nicolas Cage........Oscar-winning actor (equivalency diploma).
Albert Camus....Nobel Prize-winning Algerian-born French author; playwright (dropped out of school at age 17 due to illness—tuberculosis; later resumed his formal education and graduated from the University of Algiers).
George Carey........103rd Archbishop of Canterbury (dropped out at 15 to work; joined Royal Air Force at 18; later earned a college degree in divinity).
Richard Carmona......U.S. Surgeon General; physician; university professor; SWAT team police officer (dropped out of school at age 14; later joined the U.S. Army and became a Green Beret; earned an equivalency diploma and eventually a medical degree from the University of California at San Francisco).
Viki Carr........singer (equivalency diploma).
Gurbaksh Chahal (Gurbaksh Singh Chahal).....Self-made American multimillionaire businessman; best-selling author (Honorary Doctorate degree in Commercial Science from Pace University, April 29, 2010).
Grover Cleveland.....22nd and 24th U.S. President; face is pictured on the U.S. one-thousand dollar bill (no longer printed) (dropped out of school to help family earn income; later studied law while a clerk at a law firm and became a lawyer).
Sean Connery........Oscar-winning actor; knighted (United Kingdom: Sir Sean Connery) (dropped out of school at age 13; at age 78 on June 19, 2009 received an honorary doctorate from Edinburgh Napier University, a school located a few miles away from the one he left as a youth).
Bill Cosby..........actor-producer-comedian-entertainer; best-selling American author (dropped out in the tenth grade; later joined the U.S. Navy as an adult; earned an equivalency diploma and eventually won a scholarship to Temple University).
Daniel Craig.......actor (dropped out at age 16; later at age 23 in 1991 graduated from the Guildhall School of Music).
--------------- Dropped Out, But Later Received Equivalency Status ---------------

D

Vic Damone........singer (dropped out to help support family; received honorary diploma from hometown high school at age 68).
Majandra Delfino.....actress-singer-songwriter (equivalency diploma).
Leonardo DiCaprio....Oscar-nominated actor (equivalency diploma).
Walt Disney.........Oscar-winning American film/TV producer; animation and theme park pioneer; self-made multimillionaire founder- spokesperson of "The Walt Disney Studios/Company"; Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient; Congressional Gold Medal recipient; French Legion of Honor admittee/Medal recipient (note: rank bestowed in 1936 [Knight?] still being researched; if you know this detail or can research French-language websites and find out, please send the missing information to the webmaster) (received honorary high-school diploma from hometown high school at age 58).
Robert Downey Jr.....Oscar-nominated actor (equivalency diploma).
--------------- Dropped Out, But Later Received Equivalency Status ---------------

E

Easy-E (Eric Wright)......rap music star (equivalency diploma).
Albert Einstein.....Nobel Prize-winning physicist; "Time" magazine's "Person of the Century" (20th century); best-selling German-born American author (after dropping out of high school, he studied on his own and passed the entrance exam on his second try to the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology).
Philip Emeagwali....supercomputer scientist; lecturer; one of the pioneers of the Internet (high-IQ high-school dropout; left school in native Nigeria due to war conditions and lack of tuition money; continued to study on his own and earned an equivalency diploma; later won a scholarship to Oregon College of Education in the United States; transferred after one year to Oregon State University).
--------------- Dropped Out, But Later Received Equivalency Status ---------------

F

William Faulkner....Nobel Prize-winning and Pulitzer Prize-winning best-selling American author; screenwriter (dropped out of high school in second year; later attended University of Mississippi but did not graduate).
Millard Fillmore.....13th U.S. President (little formal education [six months]; home schooling/life experience; later studied law while a clerk with a judge and at a law firm and became a lawyer).
Carrie Fisher......actress-writer; TV show host; best-selling American author (dropped out of high school; later attended Sarah Lawrence College).
Michael J. Fox......actor; best-selling Canadian-born American author (equivalency diploma, at age 32).
William Fox.......father of actor Michael J. Fox (left school in the sixth grade; later had a brief career as a jockey and then a career in the Royal Canadian Army Signal Corps).
Steve Francis......basketball player (equivalency diploma).
John Fusco.....American screenwriter-producer (Young Guns, Young Guns II, Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron, etc.) (left school at 16 to work; later earned an equivalency diploma and went to New York University).
--------------- Dropped Out, But Later Received Equivalency Status ---------------

G

Mohandas "Mathatma" Gandhi....Indian political and spirital leader (left school at age 13 when he got married to a girl, also 13, in a marriage arranged by his parents, as was the custom; later returned and finished high school and went on to receive a university education.
Jennie Garth......actress (equivalency diploma).
Daniel Gilbert......Harvard University psychology professor (equivalency diploma).
Dizzy Gillespie.....musician-composer; American author (received honorary diploma from high school he attended).
Berry Gordy........self-made multimillionaire American businesssman; music producer; founder of "Motown Records"; Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee; American author (equivalency diploma).
Kelly Green........evangelist (male) (dropped out of high school, then later returned; graduated from Mobile College, Alabama).
Sergio Gutierrez......State of Idaho Appeals Court judge (dropped out of high school; later went to college and earned a law degree and became an attorney).
--------------- Dropped Out, But Later Received Equivalency Status ---------------

H

Amber Heard........actress; model (equivalency diploma).
Patrick Henry.......American Revolutionary War era politician; Virginia's first governor; famous quote: "Give me liberty, or give me death!" (little formal education; home schooling/life experience; later studied on his own and earned a law degree).
Paris Hilton......actress; American author (equivalency diploma).
Bob Hope.......Oscar-winning actor-writer-producer; comedian; TV host; British-born American author; Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient; Congressional Gold Medal recipient; knighted (United Kingdom: Sir Bob Hope) (left school at age 12 before beginning high school; received an honorary high school diploma from Palm Springs High School at age 87 in June 1990).
Bob Hoskins.......Oscar-nominated actor (dropped out to receive commercial artist training; later took a three-year course in accounting and graduated).
Jon Huntsman, Jr.......former governor of the U.S. state of Utah; former U.S. ambassador to China; 2012 U.S. presidential candidate (dropped out of high school at 15 to join a rock band, later earned an equivalency diploma, then a degree in international politics from the University of Pennsylvania.
Zora Neale Hurston....American author (removed from school by her father at age 13 so that she could help care for her older brother's children; later resumed her formal education, graduating from high school and earning a two-year degree from Howard University).
--------------- Dropped Out, But Later Received Equivalency Status ---------------

J

David L. Jackson....American Olympic athelete in boxing (Sydney 2000 summer games) (equivalency diploma).
Joshua Jackson......actor (equivalency diploma).
Peter Jennings......Canadian-born American television journalist; evening news anchorman; author (equivalency diploma).
Waylon Jennings.....country music star; Country Music Hall of Fame inductee; American author (equivalency diploma).
Joan Jett........rock star; Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee (equivalency diploma).
William W. Johnstone......American author (dropped out of school at 15 and joined a carnival; returned to school later and graduated).
Angelina Jolie.....Oscar-winning actress; United Nations goodwill ambassador; American author; former model (high-IQ high school dropout; dropped out of school in her sophomore year; returned in a special program and graduated a year early; later attended New York University).
Jenny Jones......television talk-show host; Canadian-born author; former stand-up comedienne (equivalency diploma in 1996 at age 49/50).
--------------- Dropped Out, But Later Received Equivalency Status ---------------

L

Jaron Lanier.......American computer scientist; musician- composer-artist-author; coined the computer term "virtual reality" (high-IQ high-school dropout; took advanced math classes at New Mexico State University at age 14).
Cyndi Lauper........rock star (equivalency diploma).
Fran Lebowitz........best-selling American author; humorist; actress (equivalency diploma).
Juliette Lewis........Oscar-nominated actress (equivalency diploma).
Abraham Lincoln.....16th U.S. President; face is pictured on the U.S. five dollar bill and one-cent coin (penny) (little formal education [Lincoln himself estimated about one year]; home schooling/reading books/life experience; later received three honorary law degrees after becoming president: 1860, Knox College; 1861, Columbia College [now Columbia University], 1864, College of New Jersey [now Princeton University]).
Lindsay Lohan......actress (equivalency diploma).
Jack London.......best-selling American author (dropped out at 14 to work; later gained admission to the University of California; left after one semester).
--------------- Dropped Out, But Later Received Equivalency Status ---------------

M

Tobey Maguire.......actor (equivalency diploma).
Jena Malone........actress (equivalency diploma).
Kelly McGillis......actress (equivalency diploma).
Alexander McQueen.....fashion designer (left school at 16; later earned a masters degree from the Central St. Martins School of Art and Design in London).
Ruth Ann Minner.....Governor of Delaware 2001-present; Delaware's first woman governor (equivalency diploma, at age 32).
John Michael Montgomery....country music star (equivalency diploma).
Arthur Ernest Morgan....American flood-control engineer; college president; author; appointed by President Roosevelt to be director of the Tennessee Valley Authority public works project (left high school after three years; later attended the University of Colorado for six weeks).
Tracy Morgan......actor; comedian; American author (honorary diploma in 2002 from DeWitt Clinton High School, as recalled in his 2009 autobiography I Am the New Black.
Anne Murray.......singer; Canadian author (equivalency diploma).
--------------- Dropped Out, But Later Received Equivalency Status ---------------

N

James Naismith.....Canadian-born inventor of basketball (dropped out of high school, then returned after four years; later went to McGill University).
Tommy Nunez.......basketball referee; American author (equivalency diploma).
--------------- Dropped Out, But Later Received Equivalency Status ---------------

O

William Owens.......baseball player (elementary school dropout; received honorary high-school diploma at age 94).
--------------- Dropped Out, But Later Received Equivalency Status ---------------

P

Jimmy Page.....rock star; member of the bands "The Yardbirds" and "Led Zeppelin" (dropped out of high school; later attended art college for a year and a half).
Tyler Perry......writer-producer-director-actor; businessman (equivalency diploma).
Madeleine Peyroux......singer-songwriter; guitarist (equivalency diploma).
--------------- Dropped Out, But Later Received Equivalency Status ---------------

R

James Randi.........magician-lecturer; Canadian-born American author (received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree at age 67 from the University of Indianapolis, USA in 1995).
Manny Ramirez.....baseball player (equivalency diploma).
J.J. Reneaux......singer-songwriter-storyteller; American author (equivalency diploma).
Mary Lou Retton....Olympic Gold Medal gymnast; American author (equivalency diploma).
Oral Roberts........evangelist; founder of "Oral Roberts University"; best-selling American author (dropped out of high school; later returned and went on to college).
Chris Rock.........comedian-actor; American author (equivalency diploma).
John D. Rockefeller Sr.....self-made billionaire American businessman-philanthropist; co-founder of "The Standard Oil Company"; history's first recorded billionaire (dropped out of high school two months before graduation; took business courses for ten weeks at Folsom Mercantile College [a chain business school]).
Norman Rockwell......artist; Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient (left high school at age 15, enrolled in various art courses; later graduated from the Art Students League of New York).
Michelle Rodriguez....actress (equivalency diploma).
James E. Rogan......politician; U.S. Congressman (California U.S. Representative) (dropped out of high school, returned, and eventually earned a law degree from UCLA).
Seth Rogan......actor-writer-producer (equivalency diploma).
--------------- Dropped Out, But Later Received Equivalency Status ---------------

S

Carl Sandburg.......Pulitzer Prize-winning best-selling American author (little formal education; later passed entrance exam to Lombard College and graduated).
"Colonel" Harland Sanders....self-made multimillionaire American businessman; founder-spokesperson of the "Kentucky Fried Chicken/KFC" fast-food restaurant chain (fifth-grade elementary school dropout; later earned a correspondence course law degree).
José Saramago.....Nobel Prize-winning Portugese author (dropped out of high school due to his family's financial situation; later attended a technical school where he received training in auto repair).
Arnold Schwarzenegger.....actor-producer; Governor of California; Austrian-born American author (left school at age 14 to begin bodybuilding training and carpentry apprenticeship; later in 1979 as an adult in the United States graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Superior).
Alicia Silverstone....actress (equivalency diploma).
Alastair Sim.....actor (left school at 14 to work in his father's store; later went to a university and became a teacher of speech and drama; played the title role of "Scrooge" in the classic 1951 holiday film.)
Christian Slater.....actor (equivalency diploma, at age 32).
Walter L. Smith.....former president of Florida A&M University (equivalency diploma, at age 23).
Jamie Lynn Spears.....actress (equivalency diploma).
Patrick Stewart.....actor-writer-producer-director; former captain of the Enterprise on TV's Star Trek: The Next Generation and in films; knighted (United Kingdom: Sir Patrick Stewart) (appointed Chancellor of the University of Huddersfield, in his home county of Yorshire, England in 2003).
W. Clement Stone....self-made multimillionaire (some sources indicate billionaire) American businessman-author; founder of "Success" magazine (elementary school dropout; later attended high- school night courses and then some college).
Hilary Swank.....Oscar-winning actress (equivalency diploma).
--------------- Dropped Out, But Later Received Equivalency Status ---------------

T

Valentina Tereshkova....Russian cosmonaut; space travel pioneer; first woman in space (at age 26; June 16, 1963); first woman to orbit the earth; first woman to conceive and give birth to a baby on earth [a daughter, 1964] after having been in space; first space traveler who was not first a pilot; awarded the United Nations Gold Medal of Peace (early formal education delayed until age 10 due to her family's financial situation; left school at age 16 to work in a textile factory as a loom operator; later at age 24 graduated as a cotton spinning technology expert from the Light Industry Technical School by means of a correspondence course in her spare time; a skilled amateur parachutist, she wrote a letter to the space center volunteering for space flight and after an examination was accepted for training and given a military rank; her education continued after her historic flight [one flight only] and she graduated from the Zhuykosky Air Force Engineering Academy).
Dave Thomas.........self-made multimillionaire American businessman; founder-spokesperson of the "Wendy's" fast-food restaurant chain; best-selling American author (equivalency diploma, at age 60).
Rasta Thomas.......dancer-actor; martial artist (equivalency diploma).
Andrea Thompson....television show host; former news reporter; former actress and model (equivalency diploma).
--------------- Dropped Out, But Later Received Equivalency Status ---------------

V

Martin Van Buren....8th U.S. President (little formal education; later began studying law at age 14 while an apprentice at a law firm and became a lawyer)
Nguyen Van Hiev....top Vietnamese physicist (completed elementary school education and then dropped out of various schools thereafter due to his family's financial situation; later earned a degree in physics from the Teachers Training University)
Eddie Vedder.......rock star (equivalency diploma).
Antonio Villaraigosa......California state politician (dropped out of high school; later attended night school and then went to UCLA and earned a law degree).
--------------- Dropped Out, But Later Received Equivalency Status ---------------

W

Mark Wahlberg.......actor; former model and singer (equivalency diploma).
Damon Wayons........actor-writer-producer-comedian (equivalency diploma).
H.G. Wells.......best-selling British author (dropped out to help family earn income; later returned and went on to college).
Lucinda Williams....singer-songwriter (equivalency diploma).
Gretchen Wilson....singer-songwriter: American author (left school in the ninth grade; took and passed equivalency diploma test in 2008 at age 34).
Alicia Witt.......actress-pianist (high-IQ high-school dropout; left school to pursue acting; took and passed equivalency diploma test at age 14).



Dropped Out, Joined Military, & Eventually Received Diploma Equivalency Status


A

Danny Aiello........Oscar-nominated actor (16, U.S. Army).
Wally Amos.........self-made multimillionaire businessman; founder of the "Famous Amos" brand cookie business; former William Morris talent agent; American author (17, U.S. Air Force).
---------------

B

Art Bell.......radio talk-show host; best-selling American author (17, U.S. Air Force).
Roy Benavides......injured Green Beret Vietnam war hero; U.S. Congressional Medal of Honor recipient (17, U.S. Army).
---------------

C

Ben Nighthorse Campbell....politician; Colorado U.S. Senator (17, U.S. Air Force).
Cesar Chavez.......U.S. farm labor leader pioneer (17, U.S. Navy; elementary school dropout).
Jim Clark........self-made billionaire American businessman; founder of "Netscape"; first Internet billionaire; American author (17, U.S. Navy).
---------------

D

Jimmy Dean..........singer-songwriter-actor; self-made multimillionaire American businessman; founder of the "Jimmy Dean Foods" brand sausage business (16, U.S. Merchant Marines; 18, U.S. Air Force).
---------------

F

James Florio.......Governor of New Jersey 1990-1994 (17, U.S. Marines).
Larry Flynt.........self-made multimillionaire American publisher; American author (15, U.S. Army).
---------------

G

Jerry Garcia........rock star; American author (17, U.S. Army).
James Garner.......Oscar-nominated actor (U.S. Army; dropped out of high school and later got diploma in Army.).
Alan Gerry......self-made billionaire American businessman (17, U.S. Marines).
Robert Guillaume....actor (17, U.S. Army).
---------------

H

Gene Hackman........Oscar-winning actor; best-selling American author (16, U.S. Marines).
Bo Hopkins........actor (16, U.S. Army).
---------------

I

Don Imus........radio-show host; photographer; best-selling American author (17, U.S. Marines).
---------------

J

Andrew Jackson......7th U.S. President; face is pictured on the U.S. twenty dollar bill (13, U.S. Continental Army; orphaned at 14; little formal education; home schooling/life experience; studied law in his late teens and became a lawyer).
---------------

K

Harvey Keitel.......Oscar-nominated actor (17, U.S. Marines).
---------------

L

Richard Lynch.......actor (16, U.S. Marines).
---------------

M

Mike Mansfield.....politician; U.S. Senator (Montana; longest-serving U.S. Senate Majority Leader, 15 years) (14, U.S. Navy).
Richard Marcinko......best-selling American author (17, U.S. Navy).
Steve McQueen........Oscar-nominated actor (17, U.S. Marines).
Joseph Moakley........politician; U.S. Congressman (Massachusetts U.S. Representative) (15, U.S. Navy).
Eric Morley.......British entertainment businessman; founder of the "Miss World" pageant (orphaned at 11; Royal Navy training ship "Exmouth").
---------------

N

LeRoy Neiman.........artist; American author (15, U.S. Army).
Willie Nelson.......Oscar-nominated songwriter-singer; Country Music Hall of Fame inductee; American author (17, U.S. Air Force).
---------------

P

Dave Pelzer.....best-selling American author; lecturer (dropped out before graduation, 18, U.S. Air Force).
Joseph Pulitzer.......self-made multimillionaire Hungarian- born American businessman; early American newspaper publisher; founder of the Pulitzer Prize and the School of Journalism at Columbia University (17, American Union Army).
---------------

R

Charles Rangel.....politician; U.S. Congressman (New York representative) (18, U.S. Army).
---------------

S

Henry William Sands....retired civil-rights attorney (17, U.S. Air Force).
Robert F. Scott.....British Antarctic explorer; author (13, Royal Navy).
Jerry Stanley.......American author; university professor (17, U.S. Air Force).
Rod Steiger.........Oscar-winning actor (16, U.S. Navy).
---------------

T

Lee Trevino.......golfer; American author (17, U.S. Marines; elementary school dropout).
---------------

U

Leon Uris..........best-selling American author (Exodus, etc.) (17, U.S. Marines).
---------------

W

Clint Walker......actor (16; quit school to work in a factory, then joined the U.S. Merchant Marines at 18).
Flip Wilson.........comedian-TV variety show host (16, U.S. Air Force).
---------------


- End Lists -



Available Lists:   Dropout List Updates

  1. Celebrity Couples - Age Differences - Older Man / Younger Woman
  2. Celebrity Couples - Age Differences - Older Woman / Younger Man
  3. Celebrity Couples - Las Vegas Chapel Weddings
  4. Noted Individuals - High School and Elementary School Dropouts  
  5. Noted Individuals and Corporations - Bankruptcies
  6. Noted Individuals Who Have Experienced Homelessness
The award name "Oscar®" is a registered trademark and service mark of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Recipients of Special Oscars and Honorary Oscars are subject to an Academy Board of Governors in-house committee nominating and voting process and are therefore described herein as, and included in the count totals for, "Oscar Winners" and "Oscar Nominees."

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