Why are Some of the Greatest Entrepreneurs & Presidents School Dropouts?

QUESTION: Marty, what do you tell your son when some of the greatest people in business were all dropouts from Sidney Weinberg of Goldman Sachs who was known as Mr. Wall Street, Henry Ford, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Michael Dell, Walt Disney, Richard Branson, and the list goes on? Having a degree does not guarantee success. What do you say to this?

HJ

ANSWER: It is absolute nonsense that degrees mean anything anymore. Schools cannot teach creativity. It takes imagination to become successful. That is not something schools can teach. Sidney Weinberg of Goldman Sachs, who indeed was known as Mr. Wall Street, started as an assistant to a janitor. He dropped out of school at 13. Richard Branson is now Sir Richard Branson and he dropped out at 16. Charles Culpeper also dropped out of high school and founded Coca Cola. Then there was Walt Disney who dropped out of high school at 16. The list of the top 20 will surprise many.

How about politicians? Did you know that President Abraham Lincoln who is on the $5 bill had only about a year of formal schooling of any kind! President Andrew Johnson never went to school at all. The list of people who became President of the United States and dropped out of college or never went to school includes:

  • George Washington
  • James Monroe
  • Andrew Jackson
  • Martin Van Buren
  • William Henry Harrison
  • Zachary Taylor
  • Millard Fillmore
  • Abraham Lincoln
  • Andrew Johnson
  • Grover Cleveland
  • William McKinley
  • Harry S. Truman

To a large extent, you either have the talent for your field or you do not. Elon Musk recently said he does not require employees to hold degrees. “There’s no need even to have a college degree at all or even high school,” Musk stated. The same is true with Google and Apple as well as 12 other top companies that no longer require college degrees. Neither does our firm. If you have the talent, you are hired. That reflects deeply upon student loans. Is the entire education system based upon fraudulent claims that you need a diploma to get a job?