Overcoming The Odds: These Billionaires Used To Live In Poverty

Billionaires aren’t all born with a silver spoon in their mouth. In fact, many came from nothing at all. The “rags-to-riches” story may sound cliché, but for some of the most famous billionaires, it’s reality. Through extraordinary grit and perseverance, individuals across the globe have beat the odds and achieved extreme success. They used to be ditch-diggers, janitors, and even a circus performer, but now they are some of the wealthiest people on the planet.

J.K. Rowling Lived in Poverty

Ferdaus Shamim/Sygma/ Getty Images
Ferdaus Shamim/Sygma/ Getty Images

In 1990, J.K. Rowling was waiting for a late train when she came up with the idea for her series of novels, Harry Potter. Her first book of the series wasn’t published until 1997. During the seven years in between, Rowling underwent massive personal upheaval that included her mother’s death, the birth of her first child and a divorce from her first husband.

She lived in poverty and was receiving state benefits until her novel became a bestseller. Rowling became the world’s first billionaire author, however, she has since given away much of her money to charity. Rowling is one of the richest people in the world.

#6 Escaped the Holocaust and became one of the wealthiest bankers in New York City.