Article - Famous College Dropouts:

A drop out as defined in the dictionary is: A person who withdraws from established society, esp. to pursue and alternate lifestyle. Now that definition alone brings a whole new meaning to the phrase 'college drop-out' and puts that person in a much more positive light. Not a person who is lazy or stupid but rather a person who aspires to do things their own way. Someone who is determined and original with talent outside that of the mainstream academic society. Some of the finest people in showbiz, business, and history are tainted with the term 'college drop-out' and yet have accomplished deeds way beyond the expectations of their Alma Maters. Below is a list of just some of the fine people who are part of this special club.


  • Jack London- Best-selling author dropped out at age 14 to work for his family, later was accepted into the University of California but left after just half a year.
  • William Faulkner - Great American Writer and Nobel Prize winner. Dropped out of the University of Mississippi.
  • Edward Albee - American playwright (Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?) that left Trinity College of Connecticut just short of a year.


  • Andie MacDowell - Dropped out of Winthrop College to be a model for Elite.
  • Brad Pitt - Originally a journalism major in college he dropped out two credits short of graduating.
  • Bruce Willis - Dropped out of Montclair State College.
  • Bill Murray - Went to Regis College as a pre-med student but was expelled for marijuana.
  • Burt Reynolds - Dropped out of Florida State due to a car accident that left him with out a spleen and successful college football career.
  • Dennis Quaid - Studied drama but dropped out before completion of his degree.
  • Dan Aykroyd - Carleton University drop out.
  • Dustin Hoffman - Attended Santa Monica City College and dropped out due to failing grades.
  • Ellen DeGeneres - dropped out of the University of New Orleans.
  • James Cameron- Award wining film directory, screen writer and producer who majored in physics at California State but dropped out after he started flunking.
  • James Dean - Majored in pre-law at Santa Monica College but dropped out to pursue his acting career.
  • Kevin Sorbo - Dropped out of Moorhead State College.
  • Marisa Tomei - Dropped out of Boston university as a sophomore after she landed a role in As the World Turns.
  • Michael Keaton - Studied speech at Kent State but dropped out his sophomore year.
  • Richard Gere - Attended University of Mass on a gymnastics scholarship to study drama but dropped out after three years to pursue his acting career.
  • Rosie O'Donnell - Dickinson College and Boston University drop out.
  • Sharon Stone - Dropped out of Edinboro University after earning writing scholarship to attend there.
  • Steve Martin - Originally a philosophy major at Long Beach State College even though he had amazing grades.
  • Tom Hanks - CalState drop out after two years, is now an Oscar-winning actor.
  • Warren Beatty - Northweastern University freshman drop out.
  • Woddy Allen - Expelled from both the NYU and City College of NY.

Media Moguls and Computer Greats

  • Bill Gates - Owner of Microsoft - most famous Harvard drop out.
  • David Geffen - Owner of Geffen Records and Dreamworks, flunked out of two schools, the University of Texans and Brooklyn College of NY.
  • H Wayne Huizenga - Former owner of two football teams and one baseball team- Dolphins, Panthers and Marlins. Also made Blockbuster, Waste Management Inc and Auto Nation into successful companies. Dropped out after three semesters of Calvin College.
  • Michael Dell - Started Dell computers dropped out of Texas University.
  • Rush Limbaugh - Dropped out after one year at Southeastern Missouri State University.
  • Steve Jobs - Co-founder of Apple dropped out after one semester at Reed College in Oregon.
  • Steve Wonzniak - Co-founder with Steve Jobs of Apple. Dropped out of the same college.
  • Ted Turner - Media Mogul who was 'kicked out' of Brown for having a female in his dorm room who was not authorized.


  • Arlo Guthrie - Rocky Mountain College drop out.
  • David Byrne - Of the Talking Heads, dropped out of RI School of Design
  • Perry Farrell - Jane's Addiction California college drop out
  • Trent Reznor - Nine Inch Nails. Studied production at Allegheny College but dropped out after one year.
  • Yoko Ono - Sarah Lawrence College drop out.
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