Famous and Successful Entrepreneurs - From Oprah Winfrey and Bill Gates to Donald Trump and more.

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Famous and Successful Entrepreneurs - List

Learn about some of the world’s most famous and prominent Entrepreneurs! Page 1 of 2

The only thing that separates anyone from these successful entrepreneurs listed below is the belief in oneself. Anyone can become whatever they want to be, when they believe in themselves and work towards that goal. Many of these entrepreneurs and others have invented new products and services that touch each of our lives everyday. Many of them donate to charities and believe in empowering the people of the world.

The future needs entrepreneurs as they create jobs and provide a way of life for many. Join us in celebrating the Entrepreneurial Spirit with The Little Entrepreneur Book Series - Teaching kids about what it takes to be an entrepreneur like the entrepreneurs below!

  • Steve Wozniak, Steve Jobs, and Ronald Wayne - Apple Computers
  • Steve got interested in science and technology around 4th grade after reading a book about this young guy who was an engineer who could design anything, and he owned his own company, and he would entrap aliens, and build submarines, and have projects all over the world. Steve would late team up with Steve Jobs. The two created one of the first personal computers in 1977. Jobs had a passionate belief in bringing computer technology to everyone. So in 1977, Jobs, Wozniak and Ronald Wayne started a company, Apple, to build and distribute their invention. In true American-dream fashion, their company began in a garage. To finance their venture, Jobs sold his Volkswagen van and Wozniak sold his programmable calculator to raise $1,300. Weeks later, Jobs secured the company's first sale: 50 Apple I computers at $666 each. In a mere six years, Apple was listed in the Fortune 500, becoming the youngest firm on this prestigious list. Today Apple is known for such innovative products like the iPhone, iPad, iPod and also continues the Mac line of computers.
  • Bill Gates – Microsoft
  • Bill Gates discovered his interest in software and began programming computers at age 13. He is the chief software architect of Microsoft Corporation, the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential. Microsoft had revenues of US$36.84 billion for the fiscal year ending June 2004, and employs more than 55,000 people in 85 countries and regions. He donates rigorously to charities all around the world.
  • Oprah Winfrey - Harpo Inc.
  • Oprah began her broadcasting career" by learning to read aloud and perform recitations at the age of three. Oprah Winfrey's broadcasting career began at age 17, when she was hired by WVOL radio in Nashville, and two years later signed on with WTVF-TV in Nashville as a reporter/anchor. She attended Tennessee State University, where she majored in Speech Communications and Performing Arts. September 8, 1986, "The Oprah Winfrey Show" became the number one talk show in national syndication. HARPO Productions Inc. which is Oprah spelled backwards was started in in 1986. Today, HARPO is a formidable force in film and television production. Based in Chicago, HARPO Entertainment Group includes HARPO Productions, Inc., HARPO Films and HARPO Video, Inc. In October, 1988, HARPO Productions, Inc. acquired ownership and all production responsibilities for "The Oprah Winfrey Show" from Capitol Cities/ABC, making Oprah Winfrey the first woman in history to own and produce her own talk show. Oprah uses her influence and wealth to help various charities and social causes around the world. Her work in Africa alone is phenomenal. Oprah also went live with her own cable television network OWN (Oprah Winfrey Network) in January of 2011.
  • Michael H. and Jay Arrington – Harper Arrington Publishing and Media
  • Michael Harper and Jay Arrington currently reside in Michigan. They are two living examples that anyone with a vision and determination can become successful entrepreneurs. After starting a couple of businesses that left the two in heavy financial debt, they went on to found Harper Arrington in late 2004 with just $980. Today Harper Arrington is a flourishing business venture with clients all over the world. Harper Arrington Publishing, to date, has been a company on a mission to educate kids and adults on how they can reach their dreams. Harper Arrington wrote and published the kids business adventure title called The Little Entrepreneur which is available at www.theLittleE.com The two have also authored a series of fashion books on how to start a fashion line - available at startingaclothingline.com. They also created a fashion design program called the Digital Fashion Pro (Harper Arrington Digital Design System) – available at: StartingAClothingLine.com. Harper Arrington books and software sell all around the world to consumers, academic institutions and business corporations. They are also the creators of this web site that is designed to promote the entrepreneurial spirit and celebrate their children’s book series called The Little Entrepreneur which exposes kids to business in a fun and inspirational way.

If you are a Teacher or a School - Bring The Little Entrepreneur Book Series to your classroom. Learn More.


  • Steven Spielberg - Dreamworks
  • Steven Spielberg is perhaps Hollywood's best known director and one of the wealthiest filmmakers in the world. Born in Cincinnati on December 18, 1946, and raised in the suburbs of Haddonfield New Jersey and Scottsdale Arizona, Spielberg always had a love and fascination for the movie industry. As a preteen, he charged admission to his home movies (which involved wrecks he staged with his Lionel train set) while his sister sold popcorn. At the age of 12, his first production was complete, including script and actors. Just one year later at the age of 13, Spielberg won a prize for a 40-minute war movie he titled Escape to Nowhere. In 1963, at the young age of 16, his 140-minute production of Firelight (which would later inspire Close Encounters) was shown in a local movie theater and brought in $100 profit. Today, Steven Spielberg is perhaps Hollywood's best known director and one of the wealthiest filmmakers in the world.
  • Vera Wang – Vera Wang Fashions
  • Vera Wang once worked with Ralph LAUREN for 2 years. In 1990, she opened her own house on Madison Avenue, New York, designing bridal wear and evening gowns. In 1994, she started her own label. Her clientele list is very long, especially for Oscar night. She has made wedding dresses for numerous celebrities including Mariah Carey for her wedding to Tommy Mottola in 1993. Cate Blanchett picked up her Golden Globe for "Elizabeth" in a beaded black Wang dress. Uma Thurman, Posh Spice, Alicia Silverstone, and Sharon Stone and Elisabeth Shue are all her loyal clients.
  • Donald Trump – Trump Enterprises
  • Donald Trump received much of his business sense from his father, Fred Trump, who was forced by his father's death to help support a large family. His father succeeded in producing affordable housing. Donald Trump was brought up assisting his father with his business ventures. Donald set a goal to be involved in real estate in a larger scale than his father.Trump started a billion dollar empire and is now also on his own hit TV show called the Apprentice. Donald Trump owns over 100 businesses.

Russell Simmons – Def Jam Records / Phat Farm Clothing /

Russell Simmons didn't invent rap, but he is, perhaps more than any other individual, responsible for the music's astonishing success.The amazing thing is that Simmons -- at the helm of Rush Communications, a conglomerate that includes a record label (Def Jam), a management company (Rush Artist Management), a clothier (Phat Farm), a movie production house (Def Pictures), television shows ("Def Comedy Jam" and "Russell Simmons' One World Music Beat"), a magazine (One World) and an advertising agency (Rush Media Co.) Russell also founded Baby Phat Clothing and his new clothing line called Russell Simmons.

  • Sean Combs – Sean John Clothing / Bad Boy Entertainment
  • Sean "Puffy" Combs, also known as P. Diddy, is a hip-hop performer, producer and businessman known for hit records (Bad Boy Entertainment), and his clothing line Sean John. Sean John is now a $400+ Million Dollar per year company. Mr. Combs also executive produces a number of Cable Programs such as his Making the Band and P. Diddy’s Star Maker.
  • Sam Walton - Walmart
  • After Sam got out of the US military he decided he wanted his own department store. He wanted to make enough money that he could support his family. His dream came into reality in the fall of 1945 when he purchased a store in Newport with the help of his father-in-law. Sam borrowed $20,000.00 from his father-in-law and had $5,000 saved from the military. WalMart first opened in 1962 and became the world's number one retailer. WalMart's success has also given many people today an opportunity for a bigger job market. More than 600,000 Americans work at WalMart. The reason for its popular success it still follows Sam Walton's values: by hometown identity, each person is welcomed personally by People Greeters, each store honors a graduating high school senior with a college scholarship, bake sales to benefit a local charity, associates determine where charitable funds are donated, and the prices are low and customers do not have to wait for a sale to see savings. This is only to name a few of the things that WalMart does for the community.


  • Gordon Moore - Intel
  • Gordon E. Moore is currently Chairman Emeritus of Intel Corporation. Moore co-founded Intel in 1968, serving initially as Executive Vice President. Moore is widely known for "Moore's Law," in which in 1965 he predicted that the number of transistors the industry would be able to place on a computer chip would double every year. In 1975, he updated his prediction to once every two years. While originally intended as a rule of thumb in 1965, it has become the guiding principle for the industry to deliver ever-more-powerful semiconductor chips at proportionate decreases in cost. Today his computer chips are used in computers all over the world.
  • Tyler Perry – Tyler Perry Productions
  • Tyler Perry is an African-American - new-school playwright, who has, he says, made over $50 million writing and producing plays for the urban theater circuit. It wasn’t always that way for Perry. In 1992, Perry saved $12,000, rented out a theater, wrote, directed, promoted and starred in his own production of I Know I've Been Change--and it failed miserably; during its entire weekend run, only 30 people showed up. For six years after that, Perry held a string of odd jobs in order to finance the show, and sporadically lived on the streets when he couldn't afford to pay the rent. Almost everyone, even his own mother, begged him to quit the theater and find a steady 9-to-5 for good. Perry refused to give up. Finally, in the summer of 1998, Perry financed the production once again. And this time, he vowed, would be the last time, if the production failed. That production of Tyler Perry's I Know I've Been Changed opened at the House of Blues in Atlanta and sold out eight times over. Two weeks later, the play would move to the prestigious Fox Theater and sell out 9,000 more seats. In addition to doing plays, Perry also wrote, funded, acted, and directed his first feature film - Diary of a Mad Woman.
  • Paul Orfaleo – Kinko’s
  • Paul Orfaleo founded Kinko’s. Today,. Kinko’s is a worldwide printing center offering a variety of services bringing in millions of dollars per year in revenue. Paul Orfaleo started this vast empire off of one store that multiplied. It has been said that the name Kinko’s comes from how other kids joked about Paul’s hair.
  • Mike Ilitch – Little Caesars Pizza
  • The story of Little Caesars Pizza's growth is a phenomenal one. Founded in 1959 by Mike and Marian Ilitch, what began as one neighborhood pizza restaurant has grown into one of the top international pizza chains. He also owns the Detroit Red Wings and the Detroit Tigers. He also supports many different charities.

Bill Hewlett – Hewlett Packard

Hewlett was co-founder of Hewlett-Packard Company. Hewlett was born May 20, 1913, in Ann Arbor, Mich. He attended Stanford University in Stanford, Calif., and received a bachelor of arts degree in 1934. He also received a master's degree in electrical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1936. Additionally, he received the degree of Engineer from Stanford University in 1939. Hewlett met Packard during their undergraduate days at Stanford. The two engineering classmates became friends and formed a partnership known as Hewlett-Packard Company in 1939. Today the Hewlett-Packard brand is sold around the world.


  • Mark Burnett – Television Show Producer
  • Mark Burnett invented reality TV. He first did Survivor and now the hit show the Apprentice and more.

Ted Turner – Turner Broadcasting

Turner was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, on November 19, 1938. On June 1, 1980, Turner inaugurated CNN, the world's first, live, in-depth, round-the-clock news television network. A second all-news service, Headline News, began operation on January 1, 1982, offering updated newscasts every half-hour. Launched in September 1985, CNN International serves as the company's global news service and is distributed in more than 210 countries and territories worldwide. He's a billionaire and also owns the Atlanta Braves baseball club.

Larry Page and Sergey Brin - Google

Larry Page, the son of Michigan State University computer science professor love of computers began at age six. While following in his father's footsteps in academics, he became an honors graduate from the University of Michigan, where he earned a bachelor of science degree in engineering, with a concentration on computer engineering.

Sergey Brin, a native of Moscow, received a bachelor of science degree with honors in mathematics and computer science from the University of Maryland at College Park. It was at Stanford where he and Larry Page met and worked on the project that became Google. Together they founded Google Inc. in 1998. Today, Google is one of the most financially successful companies in the world. Google is also one of the most innovative companies in the world expanding it’s reach into many industries from google maps to google cell phones.

  • James Kimsey - AOL
  • Kimsey is most widely known as the Founding CEO of America Online, Inc. (AOL). He transformed what began as Quantum Computer Services in 1985 into the nation’s leading independent provider of interactive online services to consumers, and the largest company ever started in Washington.
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The Little Entrepreneur - Takes Flight Part 1


Michael H. and Jay Arrington


This is a very motivational and empowering story about kids learning how to work towards their dreams. This book encourages skill building and goal setting that kids will need as they grow up and become adults. Ages 8 and up. This is an inspirational book that the whole family will enjoy.

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