15 Media Juggernauts Who Rose from Total Obscurity

Tyler Perry pulled himself up from a childhood of poverty and abuse.
15 Media Juggernauts Who Rose from Total Obscurity

It has been said that "anything is possible" and the stories of these fifteen individuals are living proof of that. From rock bottom to best-selling author, from trauma to triumph, from ranch hand to billionaire, from millionaire to jailbird, from stationer's son to filmmaker, from weeds to wealth, from cotton farm to best-selling author, from poverty to prosperity, and from the Roddenberrys' humble beginnings to star-studded proportions, these fifteen individuals have gone above and beyond to make their dreams come true... and they've basically shaped modern pop culture.

Each of these stories is unique, but there are a few things that they all have in common. They all faced adversity, they all worked hard, and they broke into the media business without any friends or family greasing their way. 

So, without further ado, let us take a journey through the inspiring stories of these fifteen individuals. From J.K. Rowling to George RR Martin, from Oprah to Tyler Perry, from Jeff Bezos to Walt Disney, from Paul McCartney to John Grisham, from Martha Stewart to James Cameron, and from Roald Dahl to Gene Roddenberry, these fifteen stories might leave you motivated to pursue your own dreams.

The Roddenberrys began a journey of star-studded proportions.

CRACKED GENE RODDENBERRY Gene Roddenberry's mom and dad got married in 1920, when she was only sixteen. Gene was born a year later, and they lived on his salary as a lineman for the electric company.

Texas Monthly

George's stories sure have come a long way.

CRACKED GEORGE RR MARTIN George RR Martin grew up poor; his dad was a dockworker. Не hand-wrote scary stories for the other kids in the projects, for a nickel a pop.


Stephen King's mom made a world of difference.

CRACKED STEPHEN KING Stephen King's parents split, and he and his brother were raised by their mom. Her sisters gave them a house and money to look after her aging parents. After they passed, she got a job at a place for people with mental disabilities.

Stephen King

From paper route to Disney.

CRACKED WALT DISNEY Walt Disney's family moved to Missouri when he was four, but his dad couldn't make a living there, so they later moved to Kansas City. Walt helped his dad with his newspaper route for six years, delivering papers before and after school, and on weekends.


From weeds to wealth.

CRACKED MARTHA STEWART Martha Stewart was born in '41 to a working-class Polish family in New Jersey. Her dad pushed her to succeed and she showed it from the age of three, pulling all the weeds from the cobblestone path.


Lucas: From stationer's son to filmmaker.

CRACKED GEORGE LUCAS George Lucas was the son of a stationer, and his mom was often sick. Не got into filmmaking in high school (and was also an avid car-racing fan until he crashed at age 18).


From rock bottom to best-selling author.

CRACKED J.K. ROWLING J.K. Rowling had a tough childhood and a failed marriage, but she became a top author with Harry Potter. Despite poverty and rejections, she kept going and made her dream of being an author come true (and then she became a TERF, but hey, she had a nice run). HAR POTT and the Deatbly


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