The Most Famous High-school Dropout: Recognizing Notable Individuals

Choose the dropout you think is the most famous!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Jun 16, 2023 10:18 (Updated on Dec 5, 2023 11:04)
Welcome to StrawPoll's ultimate face-off, where high-school dropouts defy the odds and emerge as legends! Dive into our exhilarating ranking of "Who is the most famous high-school dropout?" and cast your vote for the icon you believe reigns supreme. From the dazzling world of entertainment to the ingenious realms of technology, these trailblazers have shattered stereotypes and redefined success. Are you a fan of the King of Pop or the Queen of Pop? Or perhaps the visionary minds behind Apple or Virgin Group? Don't see your favorite dropout on our list? Fear not! You can suggest additional names and join the riveting conversation. So, what are you waiting for? Unleash your curiosity and immerse yourself in the inspiring tales of these extraordinary individuals who've turned the tables and conquered the world!

Who Is the Most Famous High-school Dropout?

  1. 1

    Bill Gates

    Bill Gates
    Co-founder of Microsoft and one of the richest people in the world, dropped out of Harvard University in 1975 to pursue his passion for computers.
    Bill Gates is an American business magnate, software developer, and philanthropist. He co-founded Microsoft Corporation, which is one of the world's largest and most successful technology companies. Gates is widely known for his role in revolutionizing the personal computer industry with the development of the Microsoft Windows operating system.
    • Co-founder(s): Paul Allen
    • Founded: April 4, 1975
    • Headquarters: Redmond, Washington, United States
    • Industry: Technology
    • Products: Microsoft Windows, Microsoft Office, Xbox, Azure, etc.
    Bill Gates in other rankings
  2. 2

    Steve Jobs

    Steve Jobs
    Co-founder of Apple Inc. and Pixar Animation Studios, dropped out of Reed College after just one semester.
    Steve Jobs was a co-founder, chairman, and CEO of Apple Inc., known for his remarkable contributions to the technology industry. He was widely regarded as a visionary and played a pivotal role in revolutionizing multiple industries with his innovative products and design sensibilities.
    • Co-founder: Co-founded Apple Inc. along with Steve Wozniak in 1976
    • Chairman: Served as chairman of Apple Inc.
    • CEO: Served as the CEO of Apple Inc. from 1997 to 2011
    • Visionary: Known for his forward-thinking ideas and revolutionary product concepts
    • Innovator: Played a crucial role in introducing groundbreaking products like the iPhone, iPad, and MacBook
    Steve Jobs in other rankings
  3. 3

    Mark Zuckerberg

    Mark Zuckerberg
    Co-founder and CEO of Facebook, dropped out of Harvard University during his sophomore year to focus on developing the social media platform.
    Mark Zuckerberg is an American technology entrepreneur and philanthropist. He is best known as the co-founder and CEO of Facebook, the world's largest social networking platform.
    • Birthdate: May 14, 1984
    • Nationality: American
    • Education: Harvard University
    • Co-founded: Facebook in 2004
    • Position: CEO of Facebook
    Mark Zuckerberg in other rankings
  4. 4
    Grammy award-winning singer and songwriter, dropped out of New York University's Tisch School of the Arts to pursue her music career.
    Lady Gaga's Carpool Karaoke is a segment from The Late Late Show with James Corden where the host, James Corden, invites famous musicians to join him in his car for a fun-filled karaoke session. Lady Gaga's Carpool Karaoke is one of the most popular and memorable episodes.
    • Episode Release Date: October 25, 2016
    • Duration: 15 minutes 12 seconds
    • Views on YouTube: 160 million+
    • Songs Performed: Bad Romance, Poker Face, Born This Way, Perfect Illusion, The Edge of Glory, And more
    • Viral Moments: Gaga taking over the driving seat, Gaga performing her elaborate dance moves in the car
    Lady Gaga in other rankings
  5. 5
    Actor and comedian, dropped out of high school to support his family by working as a janitor and a factory worker.
    Jim Carrey in other rankings
  6. 6
    Quentin Tarantino
    Gage Skidmore · CC BY-SA 3.0
    Film director, screenwriter, and producer, dropped out of high school at age 16 to pursue his passion for movies.
    Quentin Tarantino in other rankings
  7. 7
    Founder of Virgin Group, dropped out of school at age 16 to start his first business venture, a magazine called Student.
    Richard Branson in other rankings
  8. 8
    Grammy award-winning rapper, dropped out of high school after failing the ninth grade three times.
    Eminem is the official Facebook page of Marshall Bruce Mathers III, professionally known as Eminem, an American rapper, songwriter, and record producer. The page provides updates, news, and exclusive content related to Eminem's music career and personal life.
    • Total Likes: 91,890,864
    • Followers: 89,150,723
    • Page Category: Musician/Band
    • Genre: Hip Hop
    • Official Website:
  9. 9
    Johnny Depp
    Harald Krichel · CC BY-SA 3.0
    Actor and producer, dropped out of high school to pursue a music career with his band, The Kids.
    Johnny Depp in other rankings
  10. 10
    Actor and advocate for Parkinson's disease research, dropped out of high school at age 18 to focus on his acting career.
    Michael J. Fox in other rankings

Missing your favorite dropout?


Ranking factors for famous high-school dropout

  1. Level of success achieved post-dropout
    This could include career success, influence in their respective industries, and overall wealth.
  2. Public influence and recognition
    This could be measured by factors such as social media following, public speaking engagements, and overall media attention.
  3. Personal accomplishments and contributions
    This could include awards won, philanthropic work, and other notable achievements.
  4. Cultural significance
    This could be measured by the impact the individual has had on popular culture, including their influence on fashion, music, film, and other areas.
  5. The reason for their dropout
    The reason for dropping out of high school can also be a factor in their ranking, as some individuals may have faced significant obstacles that could make their success story more compelling.

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most famous high-school dropout. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or dropout is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 137 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each dropout once every 24 hours. The rank of each dropout is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.

More information on most famous high-school dropout

High school dropouts have been a topic of discussion for a long time. Some people believe that dropping out of high school is a huge mistake, while others think it is a necessary step for certain individuals to achieve success in their respective fields. Regardless of the arguments, it cannot be denied that many high school dropouts have achieved great success in their lives. From tech moguls like Steve Jobs to Hollywood stars like Jim Carrey, high school dropouts have made their mark in various industries. In this article, we will explore who is the most famous high school dropout and what makes them stand out from the rest.

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