Business

Thursday 19 July 2018

The Famous Five: people that did alright for themselves - without a university degree

Ellie Donnelly

Ellie Donnelly

With the Leaving Cert results out tomorrow, there will be no avoiding talk of university courses this week, however here are five people across five different sectors that didn’t go to university and who didn’t do half bad.

The entrepreneur

Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Atlantic Airways, Virgin Mobile, and other Virgin brands never completed secondary school.

In addition, Mr Branson, who has dyslexia, was told by his headmaster on is last day of school that he would end up either in prison or a millionaire.

As of March 2017 Mr Branson was worth $5bn, so we know how that turned out...

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Sir Richard Branson helped establish a group of international statesmen known as The Elders a decade ago

The singer

Four months after graduating the BRIT School for Performing Art and Technology Adele started publishing and recording songs. She never went to university, and therefore was not awarded a university degree. She has however been awarded several Grammy’s.

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Adele (Yui Mok/PA)

The sports star

Rory McIlroy – Mr McIlroy is among a host of sports stars that did not attend university, concentrating instead on his golfing career.

In 2012 – the then 23 year old - became the youngest player to reach $10m in career earnings on the PGA Tour.

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Rory McIlroy. Photo: Chuck Burton/AP Photo

The grocer

John Mackey, CEO of the American health food supermarket chain Wholefoods – a company he co-founded in 1980 – dropped out of University of Texas after spending six years there studying various topics.

The President

Abraham Lincoln, lawyer, and 16th President of the United States.

Largely self-taught Mr Lincoln became a lawyer before being elected to the Illinois House of Representatives where he served for eight years, he then went on to become one of the most famous presidents of the United States.

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Abraham Lincoln who made the renowned Gettysburg Address

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