You don't have to go to college to be a success. Even if you go for awhile, you don't have to graduate to be a success. Here are just a few of the people who have become famous and/or successful without graduating from college and/or high school.
Shawn Fanning, developer of Napster. Dropped out of Northeastern University when 19 to move to Silicon Valley to further develop Napster. He made the cover of Time and Fortune at the age of 19, months before he dropped out of school!
Dennis Farina, police officer, actor. Served three years in the U.S. Army and then joined the Chicago Police Department. Did not attend college.
David Farragut, U.S. admiral and military hero. At the age of nine, he was commissioned a midshipman in the United States Navy. He never attended high school or college.
Perry Farrell (Peretz Bernstein), musician, Jane's Addiction, Porno for Pyros, and Satellite Party. Also producer and founder of the Lollapalooza music tour. Never attended college.
Michael Fassbender, actor. Attended drama school in London but dropped out at the age of 20. Did odd jobs, some modeling, some acting until he gain mainstream success as an actor.
William Faulkner, Nobel and Pulitzer prize-winning novelist. Dropped out of high school after his second year. Also later attended but dropped out of the University of Mississippi.
Robyn Rihanna Fenty, see Rihanna.
Arash Ferdowsi, cofounder, DropBox.com. Dropped out of MIT to start up DropBox.com.
Fergie, aka Stacy Ann Ferguson, singer, songwriter, fashion designer, actress. A straight A student and cheerleader in high school. But went on a drug and sex spree after turning 18, while touring with Wild Orchid. Never attended college.
Craig Ferguson, late night talk show host. As he noted recently, "Economists are saying that a college degree may not be necessary to succeed in life. Look at me, I didnít go to college and here I am. Seriously kids, go to college."
Patrick Leigh Fermor, travel writer. Expelled from King's School in Canterbury, he left school at the age of 18 to walk across Europe (which he then wrote about in two books).
Enzo Ferrari, founder of the Scuderia Ferrari Grand Prix motor racing team and later the Ferrari car manufacturer. Grew up with little formal education.
Mel Ferrer, actor, director, producer, husband of Audrey Hepburn. Dropped out of Princeton to get into acting.
Tilman Fertitta, billionaire owner of Landry's restaurants and Golden Nugget casinos. Dropped out of Texas Tech University and the University of Houston.
Sally Field, Oscar-winning and Emmy-winning actress. Never attended college.
Debbi Fields, founder of Mrs. Fields Cookies. Founded the company when she was a 21-year-old mother with no business experience. Did not graduate from college.
Laurent Fignon, professional bicyclist, two-time winner of the Tour de France. Left the University of Villetaneuse to join the army. Did not complete college.
Millard Fillmore, U.S. president. Six months of formal schooling. Studied law while a legal clerk for a judge and law firm. Of the 43 people who served as president of the United States, 8 never went to college.
David Filo, billionaire co-founder of Yahoo! Dropped out of Stanford University PhD program to create Yahoo!
Carly Fiorina, CEO, Hewlett-Packard. Disappointed her parents by dropping out of law school after one semester.
Paul Fireman, multimillionaire owner of Reebok. Dropped out of Boston University to take over his family's sporting-goods business.
Bobby Fischer, Grandmaster chess player. A high school dropout.
Eddie Fisher, singer and actor. Never attended college. Began his singing career while still in high school.
Ella Fitzgerald, singer. Dropped out of high school.
F. Scott Fitzgerald, novelist. Dropped out of Princeton University.
Bobby Flay, TV chef, restaurateur, and cookbook author. Bored with high school in New York, he dropped out at the age of 17 to work as a line cook at the Joe Allen Restaurant. Allen was so impressed with Flay's talent that he paid to send him to the newly opened French Culinary Institute. Two years later, Flay graduated from the institute and began his career as a chef.
Sean Flynn, actor, photojournalist. Son of Errol Flynn, Sean left Duke University after his freshman year to star in The Son of Captain Blood. He later became a famous photojournalist covering the Vietnam War where he apparently died (MIA and still unaccounted for).
Charles Foley, inventor of the Twister party game and 96 other inventions. Dropped out of school after the eighth grade and served in the Michigan Air National Guard before getting a job in a design studio.
Caleb Followill, rock musician, Kings of Leon. Homeschooled. Has not yet attended college.
Nathan Followill, rock musician, Kings of Leon. Homeschooled. Has not yet attended college.
Danielle Fong, cofounder of Lightsail Energy. One day, when she was in junior high school in Nova Scotia, she realized that the "doors were unlocked and I could just walk away." She did. After dropping out from junior high school, she enrolled in a local college. By the age of 17, she enrolled in a PhD program at Princeton University. Again she dropped out to become an entrepreneur.
I noticed that my professors, who were brilliant people, were spending most of their time applying for grants. I thought it would be more efficient to make my fortune first and then invest it in energy research. - from an interview in Forbes magazine
Harrison Ford, actor. Dropped out of Ripon College. He worked as a carpenter for almost ten years before finding success as an actor in Star Wars and other movies.
Henry Ford, billionaire founder of Ford Motor Company. Received only a modest rural education. Left his home on the farm to work as an apprentice machinist for James Flower & Brothers in Detroit, Michigan. Later ran a sawmill and became a chief engineer for Edison Illuminating Company before starting the Ford Motor Company.
Henry Ford II, CEO, Ford Motor Company. Dropped out of Yale University.
George Foreman, heavyweight champion boxer, author, designer of the George Foreman Lean Mean Fat-Reducing Grilling Machine. Quit school in the ninth grade, but did get his GED. Never attended college.
Claire Forlani, actress. Briefly attending London's Arts Educational School. At the age of 19, she headed to Los Angeles to become an actress.
Charles Forman, founder of iminlikewithyou social networking website. Left home when he was 18 to work in Korea and Japan as a programmer.
John Forsythe, actor. He won an athletic scholarship to the University of North Carolina but he left after three years to pursue a career in show business. He started out as an announcer for the Brooklyn Dodgers and then, noting that he liked to eat in the winter, left to pursue acting.
Sutton Foster, Tony award-winning actress, singer, and dancer. Attended Carnegie Mellon University for one year and then left to pursue a theatrical career full-time.
Andrew Fox, Internet entrepreneur, multi-millionaire. A high school dropout.
Megan Fox, actress. Tested out of high school via correspondence and moved to Los Angeles. Landed a role in a movie after only two months. Never attended college.
Michael J. Fox, actor. Dropped out of high school. Got his GED when he was in his 30s. Co-starred in a Canadian television series at the age of 15. Left Canada at the age of 18 to go to Hollywood to pursue an acting career.
Dick Francis, novelist, jockey. Dropped out of school at the age of 15 because his father, as noted by the London Times, felt "that a day's hunting or show jumping was more valuable" than formal schooling.
James Franco, actor, book author. Dropped out of UCLA after his freshman year to pursue acting. Nine years later he reenrolled at UCLA and later completed his degree. Now pursuing graduate programs in film (New York University), fiction writing (Columbia University), and digital media (Rhodes Island School of Design.
Justin Frankel, multimillionaire software programmer, developer of WinAmp and Gnutella, founder of Cockos Inc. Attended the University of Utah for two quarters, but then dropped out. A few months later, he released the first version of WinAmp, a free MP3 player.
Aretha Franklin, singer. Dropped out of high school.
Benjamin Franklin, inventor, scientist, inventor, diplomat, author, printer, publisher, politician, patriot, signer of the U.S. Declaration of Independence. Dropped out of Boston Latin. Home schooled with less than two years of formal education.
Joe Frazier, heavyweight boxing champion. Never finished high school. Left home at the age of 15 to go to New York City.
Markus Frind, software programmer, multimillionaire founder of Plenty of Fish dating website. Graduated from technical school with a two-year degree in computer programming. Did not attend any further higher education.
Robert Frost, poet. Dropped out of Dartmouth College.
Eden Full, founder of Roseicollis Technologies. Dropped out of Princeton University for at least two years to work on her solar panel design. Funded $100,000 by Peter Thiel, co-founder of Paypal, via his college dropout project.
R. Buckminster Fuller, inventor of the geodesic dome, visionary, philosopher, poet, architect, futurist. He never finished college, after being expelled from Harvard twice (one involving some chorus girls).
J. B. Fuqua, industrialist, philanthropist. Never attended college, but learned about business by checking out books from the Duke University library through the mail. Later donated $36 million to support a business school at Duke.
Copyright 2013 by book promotion expert John Kremer
Open Horizons, P O Box 2887, Taos NM 87571; 575-751-3398 / Web: http://www.bookmarket.com.