These rags-to-riches stories remind us that through determination, grit, and a bit of luck anyone can overcome their circumstances and achieve extraordinary success. All from humble beginnings, these 6 people not only climbed to the top of their industries but also became some of the richest people in the world.

1. Larry Ellison – 50.1 billion

Larry Ellison is the founder and CEO of Oracle Corporation. During his second year in University of Illinois, his adopted mother died, and Ellison dropped out of college. Between college and his various jobs, Ellison had picked up basic computer skills. In 1977, Ellison and two of his Amdahl colleagues, Robert Miner and Ed Oates, founded their own company, Software Development Labs. At this point Ellison and his partners won a two-year contract to build a relational database management system (RDBMS) for the CIA. The project’s code name was Oracle. After that they developed its commercial version and named their RDBMS Oracle as well. In 2016, Ellison’s personal fortune was estimated at $50 billion, which makes him one of the five wealthiest Americans.


2. Leonardo Del Vecchio – 18.4 billion

Ranking 71st on the Forbes global fortune list, Leonardo Del Vecchio is the second wealthiest man in Italy. Del Vecchio was born in Milan and given away to an orphanage by his mother as she was not able to support him. He then began working as a dye and tool maker but decided to utilize those skills to make spectacle parts. He joined evening classes studying industrial engineering at the age of 19, continuing working during the day all along. After moving to what is known as the spectacle capital of Italy, Agordo, Del Vecchio began his own spectacle brand known as Luxottica. Leonardo Del Vecchio net worth is at $18.4 billion as of 2017 according to Forbes.

Leonardo Del Vecchio