9 Hugely Successful Black People Who Dropped Out of School

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Sean “Diddy” Combs

Sean Combs dropped out of Howard University where he was studying business. Diddy’s ventures, along with his career as a rapper, have made him one of the the richest rap artists to date.

His ventures include the clothing line Sean John, record label Bad Boy, Ciroc vodka and most recently his own cable network Revolt TV.  Acting gigs, television shows and guest appearances added to his riches. In 2013, Diddy topped Forbes hip hop’s wealthiest list with a reported fortune of $580 million.

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Tyler Perry

Tyler Perry dropped out of high school but reportedly later earned a GED at an undisclosed date. Perry is an actor, director, screenwriter, playwright, producer, author, and songwriter who found his initial success in stage shows. In 2005, Forbes reported that Perry had sold “more than $100 million in tickets, $30 million in videos of his shows, and an estimated $20 million in merchandise,” and “the 300 live shows he produces each year are attended by an average of 35,000 people a week.”

Perry has also created several television shows, his most successful of which is Tyler Perry’s “House of Payne,” a show that ran for eight seasons on TBS from June 21, 2006, to Aug. 10, 2012.

On Oct. 2, 2012, Perry struck an exclusive multiyear partnership with Oprah Winfrey and her Oprah Winfrey Network. Perry has helped pull Winfrey’s struggling network out of the red.

He opened his own studio in 2008. Perry landed in the top spot on Forbes’ 2011 highest paid men in entertainment list with $130 million, surpassing industry veterans Steven Spielberg and Jerry Bruckheimer.

 

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