12 famous people who failed in school

Who I am
Joe Dispenza


Many people believe that the door to success is opened with education. It is true that a good school education is essential to develop a personal culture and a critical spirit, and that in many cases it is essential to be successful, but this is not always the case. Sometimes the evaluation received in school does not reflect one's potential, as these famous people demonstrate!

"Education is what remains after one has forgotten all that one has learned in school."

Albert Einstein

Celebrities who did poorly in school and/or didn't finish it:

Johnny Depp

Johnny Depp is a blatant example of a person who achieved fame and success despite dropping out of school at a young age. At the young age of 14, Johnny Depp dropped out of school after being given a chiyarra. He was determined to become a rock legend. He eventually became a legend, but on the big screen more than on stage. His performances by him are worth hundreds of millions of dollars and he recently reached the peak of his career!


The illusionist disappeared from school at the age of 12, an impressive magic trick that other young people will surely want to emulate, we are sure. When you have your imagination, what good is formal education?

Albert Einstein

Einstein was quite eloquent about his distaste for formal education. During the school term, his teachers thought he was mentally retarded and called him a bad student. He was dyslexic and struggled to stay within the rigid limitations of the German school.

Famous to all for his theories and scientific discoveries, he was also a full professor at Princeton University. Really a blow to the teachers who said he was retarded…oops!

"Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb trees, it will spend its whole life believing that it is stupid."

Albert Einstein

Elton John

The legendary Elton John followed a path similar to that of Johnny Depp. I left school at 16 and got a job in a pub where I played the piano. What happened next is history!

Thomas Edison

Edison invented the light bulb... he certainly had a brilliant idea (haha). Foolisher, however, were his teachers, who judged Edison too stupid to learn anything. The same person who came to own over a thousand patents on the things he had invented. But it's okay: he was in good company, with many other people who were looked down upon by his teachers.

Bill Gates

Perhaps one of the most blatant examples among famous people who have succeeded despite dropping out of school.

 Bill Gates dropped out of college when he read an article about a microcomputer and thought he had an idea that would change the world... I'd say it worked for him!

Walt Disney

Walt Disney left school at the age of 16 to join the army. He too had some disastrous experiences in the film industry before he found success. It's hard to imagine this being true when you think of all the fantasy worlds owned by Disney, but failures often precede great successes.

Richard Branson

Founder and adventurer of Virgin, he has always been eloquent when talking about his disastrous education. He spent the school term feeling recognized for various learning disabilities and still admits to his dyslexia today. He dropped out of school at 16 and is now one of the richest people in the world.

Charles Darwin

Charles Darwin was also looked down upon by his teachers: he was described as a mediocre student. It almost seems that teachers are afraid to admit that their students may be geniuses!

Charles Dickens

He left school at the age of 12. Exactly 12. Some of today's 12-year-olds struggle to put together a meaningful sentence and while he had already dropped out of formal education at that age. Formidable

Robbie Williams

It's no big surprise that Robbie Williams flopped at school. His life is a succession of ups and downs, inner demons and uncertainties. The fact is that he still succeeded, even though he never managed to pass any exam in college.

Sir Isaac Newton

To be totally honest, Newton did not fail in school, as it was his mother who decided to take him out of school to work the land. He was quite pitiful as a farmer, but apparently he didn't skip school either.

ray step

Concludes the list of entrepreneurs who have failed with the school. Ray Krok built the McDonald's empire, but dropped out of school at age 15 to drive an ambulance during World War I.


Our list of famous people who failed school ends here. Remember not to give up hope if you don't do well in school: the future will probably hold other things for you, just like the celebrities in this article did!

"All serious education is acquired with life, not with school."

Lev Tolstoy

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