It’s a well-known fact, or at least one we seem to widely accept: a person’s upbringing will determine his or her success. Numerous sociology studies have demonstrated how poverty can limit one’s success. Whether it’s being enrolled in a “tough” school or hanging around a bad crowd, being poor is nearly a death sentence if you want to become a somebody when you grow up. Happily, some of the older people in this predicament realize they cannot rise to the challenge of raising a child, so they put them up for adoption, or entrust their care to someone they know they trust will take good care of their kid. With better education and financial possibilities, these children sometimes rise to become great people.
12. Marilyn Monroe
Born and raised in Los Angeles, the “City of Sin”, Monroe found herself in foster homes and into an orphanage, before she married for the first time at 16 years old. She went on to become a successful actress, model, and singer. So things worked out quite well for her; that is before overdosing on various drugs in 1962.
11. Bill Clinton
Clinton wasn’t officially adopted. His father died before his birth and his mother was away for years, leaving the young William Jefferson Blythe III with his grandparents, who cared for him like their own child. When his mother came back, she married Roger Clinton Sr., and Bill assumed his stepfather’s surname when he was 15.
10. John Lennon
Lennon was born in war-time England, to Julia (born Stanley) and Alfred Lennon, a merchant seaman of Irish descent, who was away at the time of his son’s birth. What most people don’t know is that Mimi Smith, Julia’s sister, complained to social services twice about Lennon’s familial situation – or lack thereof – before she assumed custody of her nephew.
9. Steve Jobs
Jobs’s adoptive father, Paul Reinhold Jobs, had been in the army and was a well-known tough guy who rebuilt cars before becoming a repo man in his later years. His adoptive mother was of Armenian descent. The couple adopted Jobs in 1955 after it became apparent they wouldn’t be able to conceive a child naturally
8. Nicole Richie
Richie was born in California, and has Mexican, Creole, and Spanish origins. Peter Michael Escovedo is her biological father. He’s a musician who briefly played with Lionel Richie. When Nicole was three, Brenda Harvey and Lionel Richie accepted her in their home because her biological parents couldn’t afford to raise children. The Richie’s officially adopted her when she turned nine.
7. Nelson Mandela
After his father’s death, Mandela’s mother took him to the “Great Place” palace, where his care was entrusted under the guardianship of Chief Jongintaba Dalindyebo, according to Wikipedia. Not seeing his mother again for many years, Mandela said that Jongintaba and his wife Noengland treated him as their child, raising him alongside their own son and daughter, Justice and Nomafu, according to Wikipedia
6. Faith Hill
Hill was born in Mississippi, and was adopted as an infant. According to Wikipedia, she was raised in the town of Star, 25 miles outside of Jackson, where she was adopted. Raising their own two biological sons, Edna and Ted Perry adopted Hill and raised her in a Christian environment.That’s probably why many of her songs have have themes of Christianity.
5. Jamie Foxx
Born Eric Marlon Bishop, Foxx is the son of Darrell Bishop and Louise Annette Talley Dixon. Foxx was adopted and raised by his mother’s adoptive parents shortly after his birth. He had little contact with his birth parents, who were simply not part of his life as a child. He often said that his grandmother’s influence was the reason for his success.
4. Sarah McLachlan
3. Edgar Allan Poe
He was born Edgar Poe to Boston natives Elizabeth Arnold Hopkins Poe and actor David Poe, Jr. Edgar seemed to have been named after a character in William Shakespeare’s King Lear, a play his parents were performing in 1809. His father abandoned their family in 1810, when the boy was barely one. According to Wikipedia, his mother died a year later from pulmonary tuberculosis. Poe’s care was handed to John Allan, a successful Scottish merchant who dealt tobacco, tombstones, slaves, etc. The Allans gave Edgar the name “Edgar Allan Poe,” but they never legally adopted him.
2. Priscilla Presley
According to Wikipedia, Priscilla’s biological father was US Navy pilot James Wagner who married Priscilla’s mother at the age of 23. He was killed in a plane crash while returning home during World War II. Priscilla was only six months old at the time. In 1948, her mother met a United States Air Force officer named Paul Beaulieu, from Québec, and the couple were married within a year. Priscilla considered Paul like her father since he practically raised her.
1. John Hancock
Hancock was sent to live with his uncle Thomas Hancock and his wife after his father died in 1744. Thomas Hancock’s highly successful business made him one of Boston’s richest residents. The couple, who did not have any biological children, became the dominant influence on John’s life. When Thomas passed away, John inherited his fortune, which made him one of the richest men of the Thirteen Colonies.