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9 Hugely Successful Black People Who Dropped Out of School

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Ladi Delano

Ladi Delano was studying political science before dropping out of college in his second year.

The jet-setting Nigerian serial entrepreneur made his first million as a liquor entrepreneur while living in China. In 2004, at age 22, he founded Solidarnosc Asia, a Chinese alcohol beverage company that made Solid XS, a premium brand vodka. Solid XS went on to capture more than 50 percent market share in China and was distributed across more than 30 cities there, pulling in $20 million in annual revenue.

Delano later sold the company to a rival liquor company for more than $15 million and invested his funds into his next venture-The Delano Reid Group, a real estate investment holding company focused on mainland China. Today, Delano is the co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Bakrie Delano Africa (BDA) – a $1 billion joint venture with the $15 billion (market cap) Bakrie Group of Indonesia.

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R. Donahue Peebles

Don Peebles dropped out of Rutgers University as a premed student after his freshman year to pursue a career in real estate. He started in the business by appraising properties and arguing property tax appeals through his firm RDP Corporation. At 27 years old, Peebles landed his first major investment deal in the form of a 100,000-square-foot office building in Washington, D.C. This investment led Peebles to others, enabling him to launch the Peebles Corporation.

Peebles now owns one of the country’s largest African-American real estate development companies with a $4 billion development portfolio of luxury hotels, residential and commercial properties from California, Miami and D.C. He has also  authored two books, “The Peebles Principles” and “The Peebles Path to Real Estate Wealth.”

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