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10 Self-Made Billionaires Who Came From Nothing

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Wondering who some of the self-made billionaires who came from nothing are? We often see billionaires around the world, with luxurious mansions, traveling around the world in private jets, and vacationing at the most exotic spots on the planet. And we do not usually stop and wonder about their origin and beginnings: we take it as it may. That is, they are billionaires, and they must have done something right.  And yes indeed, there is no doubt they had quite amazing careers so as to cultivate such fortunes.

Oprah Winfrey

What can be said about billionaires is that they have probably worked very hard as to be where they are. Some of them we know from magazines and newspapers. And when picturing their everyday life, we typically imagine them spending their fortune on the most exquisite things, and having the most extravagant lifestyle. But of course not all of them hold such a luxurious life. Some are quite cautious with their vast wealth, particularly The 7 Most Frugal Billionaires in the World, as shown on our previous feature list. Despite having billions stashed in their bank accounts, they opt for a relatively simple lifestyle. We’ve compiled a countdown with some of these public figures, such as Carlos Slim Helú (CEO of Telmex) and Warren Buffett (CEO of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE:BRK.A), which seem not to follow the classic mold of rich people.

Some billionaires we see rise, but others’ origins are somehow a mystery. There is no doubt in most cases wealth tends to create more wealth, yet is it possible to come from humble beginnings and still become one of the wealthiest people in the world? We have compiled a list featuring some billionaires who were once dirt poor, and climbed up to the top of the peak with their fortunes. Check out our list and find out who are the ten self-made billionaires who came from nothing.


No. 10 Kenny Troutt – Excel Communications

Net worth: $1.7 billion

Kenny Troutt had a bartender dad, and had to sell his life insurance in order to pay his tuition at Southern Illinois University. In 1988 he founded Excel Communications, and took the company public in 1996. Only two years later, he merged his company with Teleglobe in a $3.5 billion deal.

Our stirring list of self-made billionaires who came from nothing continues on the next page.

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