Live By Example: 10 Public Figures Who Overcame Great Financial Problems

From rags to riches – you often hear of the classic story in movies or fiction, but this can also, and is often, a reality! Your financial life can be saved. Just take these ten public figures who overcame great financial problems as examples and let them serve as inspirations to you.

Jim Carrey

Carrey grew up penniless in Canada. He had to drop out of school when the family became homeless and lived in a van. Carrey overcame this by going to comedy clubs, performing and learning his craft before becoming a star on “In Living Color”.

Hilary Swank 

Swank lived in a trailer by a lake. Her parents divorced. She lived in her car when she got to Hollywood at age 16. However, she got a part in “The Next Karate Kid”, met Chad Lowe and got it together with an award-winning career.

Oprah Winfrey

Oprah’s story is legendary. She grew up in poverty in rural Mississippi with two young parents. She moved with her mother to Wisconsin, gave birth at age 14 to a premature baby who died. Oprah landed a job as a TV reporter in Nashville beginning her rise to talk show, and world prominence.

Charlize Theron

Theron’s dad was an alcoholic who womanized. Her mom shot her dad dead as he tried to attack her. After being forced by her mom to enter a modeling competition, Theron became famous as a model and actress after that.

Anna Nicole Smith

Smith’s mother and aunt took care of her. She worked at places like Walmart and Red Lobster before becoming a Playboy centerfold, marrying an oil tycoon and becoming a modern sex symbol.

50 Cent

Real name, Curtis Jackson, he grew up with an alcoholic mom who was murdered when he was 8 years old. He never knew his father. Cent turned to the streets selling drugs. He started rapping around New York in 2000 attracting attention before putting out an independent tape and becoming famous.

Demi Moore

Moore was born to a teenage mother in New Mexico. Her mother and step-father were alcoholics. The step-father killed himself. Moore moved to Los Angeles and started finding acting jobs.

Naomi Watts

Watts’ mother and father were into the music scene and broke up when she was four years old. Her mother moved frequently around Great Britain and had many boyfriends. They didn’t take care of her financially. Her family moved to Australia and she started acting on television.

Christina Aguilera

Aguilera was born in New York and moved around a lot with her parents after that. She was abused by her father who divorced her mother when she was 7 years old. She had few friends as a kid, but was able to sing like a bird. She finally landed a role on the Mickey Mouse Club.


Jewel was born in Utah and raised by her father in Alaska in a tiny home lacking even indoor plumbing. To earn money, she sang with her dad at local bars. Leaving high school, she traveled in a van around America performing in coffeehouses or on the street. While living in San Diego, she was discovered by an agent.

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