5 Highly Successful People Who Took The GED

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Most people don’t make it right at the first time. In fact, mistakes often happen during the initial tries. So don’t be afraid to make mistakes as long as you did your best. Very few of them are actually fatal.

This thought applies to high school dropouts as well. It is not the end of the world if you are or were unable to finish high school. If you adopt a positive mindset and take control of your life early on, you will realize that you can do something to change your future.

One of them is by taking the GED, which is a high school equivalency test and credential. Although a GED certificate has a lesser value than a high school diploma, there have been numerous successful people who took it and made it big in life.

Who are some of these celebrities and famous personalities who passed the GED?

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Dave Thomas, founder of Wendy’s

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Dave started to work in the restaurant industry at the early age of 12. His family constantly moved from one location to another, but Dave aimed for a more stable life. At 15, he separated from his parents and sought a part-time job at the Hobby House restaurant in the city of Fort Wayne. After deciding to work full time in the business, he dropped out of high school.

Dave served during the Korean War after which he worked at KFC. His diligence and business intelligence helped turn many of KFC’s failing franchises around. It was in 1969 when he made up his mind to sell his KFC franchise and began his own restaurant business in Columbus, Ohio. His named his restaurant after his daughter Melinda whose nickname was Wendy. Now, Wendy’s is a hugely popular burger chain- the third largest in America. It was only in 1993 when Dave enrolled at the Coconut Creek High School where he chose to earn his GED certificate because he wanted to set a good example for youngsters.

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Michael J. Fox, famous Hollywood actor


Michael’s father gave him $3,000 to set out and pursue a career in Hollywood at the age of 18. He was close to finishing high school in his native Canada but decided to drop out to go after his dream.

After years of hard work, Michael indeed made his name as a Hollywood actor and got married and had kids. The talented actor made it a priority to take the GED test, and he did so in 1995.

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Richard Carmona, Arizona senator, and former U.S. Surgeon General

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Richard was born in New York and grew up in Harlem. He is of Puerto Rican descent. At the age of 16, he dropped out of Dewitt Clinton high school and joined the U.S. Army in 1967. It was during his time of enlistment in the army when he earned his GED. Following this undertaking, he became a member of the United States Army Special Forces. As a Vietnam veteran, Richard was combat-decorated. While in the Special Forces, he started his career in medicine as a medic.

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Paris Hilton, American TV personality, socialite, model, and businesswoman

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In her bio, it was stated that Paris spent her childhood in palatial houses located in the most expensive neighborhoods in both coasts of the country. Her experience with the educational system was brief where she went to study at Dwight School that was an ultra-exclusive institution. Paris dropped out from the said school and earned her GED certificate afterward.

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Peter Jennings, a popular journalist and sole anchor of ABC News Tonight for over 22 years

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Peter’s father was a prominent radio broadcaster who worked for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. He also pursued a career as the host of “Peter’s People” which was a CBC children’s program.

At the age of 9, Peter entered the broadcasting industry. While his father was attending to one of his assignments, Peter was chosen for the “Peter’s People” gig. His father was allegedly furious at CBC for hiring Peter primarily because he was the son of a broadcaster. While in school, Peter was a bad student but a talented athlete. For him, going to school was tremendously boring. After failing 10th grade, Jennings dropped out of school. He enrolled at Carlton University, but stayed there for only 10 minutes and left the institution. After his unsuccessful attempts at schooling, Peter worked at the Royal Bank of Canada but continued to harbor his dream of becoming a professional broadcaster.

These are five of the most successful GED stories throughout time, and if you look for more, you will find that there are numerous of these hardworking and lucky people who didn’t give up on completing their education as they found their way to wealth and fame. Setting a good example for young and adult learners, they are indeed worth emulating.

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