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What Famous Business People Were Homeschooled

Homeschooling can provide a unique opportunity for students to pursue their dreams, even if they are extremely young. It’s not uncommon for some of the world’s most successful people to have been homeschooled – they made the best use of their time to develop the skills and knowledge they needed to excel.

In this article, we’re going to look at 13 famous business people who were homeschooled and explore how their backgrounds shaped their success.

1. Mark Zuckerberg

Mark Zuckerberg is the co-founder and CEO of the social media giant, Facebook. His choice to be homeschooled began when his family lived in Dobbs Ferry, New York.

While his father taught him a variety of subjects at home, he was elected to the Magnet Program in Physics at the Phillips Exeter Academy, a prestigious high school, to further develop his skills in the sciences. After completing his high school studies, Zuckerberg attended Harvard. As we all know, he would eventually drop out to found what is now the most popular social media platform in the world.

While some might consider Zuckerberg’s decision to leave college to be ill-advised, it was this risk that enabled him to bring his vision of a decentralized social network to life. As he was homeschooled and able to complete his graduation requirements well before his peers, he had the time to focus on the development of his new platform. As he had access to the best available education, he was well-equipped to develop a successful business plan for the platform.

Through his homeschooling experience, Zuckerberg was able to developed the skills needed to become a successful entrepreneur.

2. Elon Musk

Elon Musk is the co-founder and CEO of Tesla Motors and founder of SpaceX. Musk’s family had an itinerant lifestyle, having lived in South Africa, Canada, and the United States over the course of his childhood. His parents elected to home school him using a combination of textbooks and computers.

Musk was homeschooled until the age of 17 and throughout his schooling, was fascinated with technology, science and literature. Musk’s homeschooling experience, coupled with his prodigious aptitude and ambition, served him well as he made the decision to develop SpaceX, a space exploration company.

While homeschooled, Musk was able to pursue an intensive (and self-curated) course of study in chemistry, mathematics, physics, and mechanics. The same ambition and intelligence he applied to his schoolwork he applied to the development of SpaceX. Along with his team, he was able to develop a technologically advanced rocket system specifically designed for space exploration.

3. Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs was the co-founder and CEO of one of the world’s most successful companies, Apple, Inc. Jobs was adopted as a baby, and his parents wanted to provide him with the best education available. They elected to homeschool him until the ninth grade and enrolled him in the Monta Loma elementary school in Mountain View, California.

Jobs was a passionate learner and was able to pursue his interests while homeschooled. From a young age, he was interested in technology, which led him to enroll at Hewlett-Packard Institute, a summer technology program that he attended during the summers.

He was an eager student and was able to develop a prodigious knowledge of technology and design. Jobs’s education made him well-suited to develop the Apple computer. The homeschooling experience gave him the opportunity to explore his interests and develop the skills needed to make history with the Apple computer.

4. Sergey Brin

Sergey Brin is the co-founder, alongside Larry Page, of Google. Growing up in the Soviet Union, his family elected to move the United States seeking freedom and a better education for their children.

As the Brin family settled in Maryland, they elected to homeschool Sergey and his siblings. Brin’s homeschooling experience was focused on science, mathematics and computer science, topics that shaped his educational experience and ultimately shaped his career. After completing his homeschooling education, he then attended the University of Maryland, followed by Stanford.

This is where he and Page would develop the initial idea for Google.

5. Bill Gates

Bill Gates is the founder of Microsoft, one of the most successful companies in the world. His family chose to homeschool him until the eighth grade, when they enrolled him in Lakeside, a private school in Seattle. Though he was homeschooled, Bill was an eager learner, devouring science and mathematics.

Gates’s homeschooling experience gave him the opportunity to explore his interests in-depth. By the time he enrolled at Lakeside, he had already developed computer programming skills.

When he was in the eighth grade, he and his friend Paul Allen developed the first computer software program. While attending Lakeside, Gates continued his development of computer programming skills. These skills served Gates well as he continued to pursue a career in technology and eventually founded Microsoft.

6. Peter Thiel

Peter Thiel is an entrepreneur, venture capitalist, and co-founder of PayPal. Though born in Germany, he moved to the United States with his family when he was a young boy. His parents chose to homeschool him until the ninth grade before enrolling him in a private school.

Thiel’s experiences while homeschooled set the foundation for his later successes as an entrepreneur. He was precocious in mathematics, science, and literature, which provided him an opportunity to pursue computer science from a young age.

With a keen focus on technology, he was well-suited to pursue a career in the burgeoning field of computer science. After graduating from Stanford, he became a successful entrepreneur and eventually founded PayPal.

7. Abigail Johnson

Abigail Johnson is the president and CEO of Fidelity Investments. Though born in Miami, she was homeschooled until she was in the ninth grade.

Her mother, a former teacher, taught her English and mathematics while her father taught her the sciences. During her homeschooling experience, Abigail developed a passion for finance, which she explored further while attending Harvard. After graduating in 1988, she became a Financial Consultant with Fidelity, eventually becoming the President of Fidelity Investments in 201

Her homeschooling gave her a variety of subjects to explore and a curiosity for finance, which enabled her to excel in her field and become a successful businesswoman.

8. Carly Fiorina

Carly Fiorina is an American business executive and former CEO of Hewlett-Packard. Her family’s itinerant lifestyle caused them to move around the United States, eventually settling in Montana. While there, her parents chose to homeschool her until the ninth grade.

Carly was an eager learner and was particularly interested in mathematics and science. During her homeschooling years, she developed confidence in her abilities which gave her the ability to pursue a degree in the sciences and eventually a career in business.

After attending Stanford, she became an executive and eventually the CEO of Hewlett-Packard. Her homeschooling equipped her with the knowledge and self-confidence she needed to excel in the business world.

9. Jeff Bezos

Jeff Bezos is the founder of Amazon, the world’s largest online retailer. Growing up in Texas, his parents chose to home school him until the fifth grade, when they enrolled him in the River Oaks Elementary School in Houston.

Bezos’s parents fostered his intellectual curiosity while they homeschooled him. He was encouraged to explore all topics he was interested in and was rewarded for creative thinking. This experience enabled him to develop the skills needed to become an entrepreneur.

After graduating from Princeton, he founded Amazon, a revolutionary new way to shop, and eventually became the world’s richest person.

10. Michael Dell

Michael Dell is the founder and CEO of Dell, Inc. , one of the world’s most successful technology companies.

Dell was homeschooled until the third grade, when his parents enrolled him in Richland Elementary School in Houston. Dell showed an early aptitude for mathematics and computer science. His parents recognized his potential and encouraged him to pursue them.

After completing high school, Dell attended the University of Texas at Austin, where he furthered his skills in the sciences. He was able to develop a revolutionary idea for a personal computer while still in college, leading to the development of Dell, Inc.

Dell’s homeschooling experience enabled him to pursue his interests and develop the skills needed to become a successful entrepreneur.

11. Meg Whitman

Meg Whitman is the former CEO and president of Hewlett-Packard. Her family moved around the United States throughout her childhood, eventually settling in Long Island, New York.

While in Long Island, her parents elected to homeschool her until the seventh grade, when she was enrolled in Cold Spring Harbor Junior High School. Whitman was an inquisitive learner and was particularly interested in mathematics and history. She was also an avid reader and became well-rounded in all subjects.

Her homeschooling gave her the opportunity to develop a wide variety of skills and interests. Whitman further developed her knowledge in the sciences while attending Princeton and Harvard. After becoming the CEO of Hewlett-Packard, she demonstrated the business acumen that she developed while homeschooled.

12. Tony Hsieh

Tony Hsieh is the CEO of Zappos, the online retail giant. Though born in Illinois, his family moved to San Mateo, California when he was four.

His parents opted to homeschool him until the ninth grade, when he was accepted into the Stanford University’s class of 199Hsieh was an eager learner while homeschooled, particularly interested in all topics related to technology. While still in high school, he and a friend developed a computer game, which he sold to a software publisher for $25,000.

He was able to develop the skills and knowledge needed to become a successful entrepreneur while still homeschooled. His development in the sciences enabled him to move on to Stanford, which enabled him to develop the idea for Zappos and become a successful business executive.

13. Kevin Plank

Kevin Plank is the founder and CEO of the sporting goods company Under Armour. Growing up in Maryland, his parents elected to home school him until the eighth grade, when he enrolled in the McDonogh School.

Plank was an active learner as a young boy and developed an early interest in business. He launched his first business venture – a lawn-mowing service – while homeschooled. This would be the beginning of his entrepreneurial journey and the development of the skills needed for success.

After graduating from the University of Maryland, Plank launched Under Armour, a revolutionary new way to design and produce sports performance apparel that eventually changed the sporting apparel industry.


The above-mentioned examples demonstrate the ability of homeschooled students to develop their talents and excel in the business world. Homeschooling provides a unique opportunity to pursue interests and skills not covered in traditional education settings.

These successful business people were able to develop the skills, knowledge and confidence needed to excel in their fields. Homeschooling was the foundation for their successes, enabling them to pursue their passions in life and make an impact on the world.

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