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Celebrities with Poor Childhoods

Celebrities today have become known for their wealth and success, but do their childhoods make what they’ve achieved all the more special? For many, yes.


From growing up in poverty to living on crime-stricken streets, in today’s article, we will take a look at just five celebrities that, despite all odds, turned their lives around and made a name for themselves, according to The Richest.


Jim Carrey


Known and celebrated for his comedic and quirky characters in a number of films, Jim Carrey actually had quite a tough upbringing. The Richest quoted Jim Carrey talking about his early years, where he admitted that after his father lost his job, the family “went from lower middle class to poor.”


He continued: “we were living out of a van. I quit school at the age of 15 to begin working to help support my family as a janitor.” In light of this, Carrey’s success continues and has deservedly won a fair few awards over the years as well.


Leonardo DiCaprio


Considered a favourite by most, it might surprise you to find that, despite Leonardo DiCaprio’s incredible success, he too had a rough childhood.


Whilst his mother had to work two jobs just to support him and her, Leonardo also described where he lived as a child and mentioned, “There was a major prostitution ring on my street corner, crime and violence everywhere.”




Flitting from one home to another will never be easy, and that’s how famous rapper Eminem grew up. After a while of packing up and moving between Michigan and Missouri, he and his single mother settled in a lower-middle class location. Sadly, even with a fairly stable home, he suffered a concussion as a result of bullying in school.


Now though, he remains one of the most popular and well-known rappers in the music industry and is still continuing to reach out to fans with his lyrics.


Stephen King


Often cited as the king of horror in Stephen King’s early life his father left his mother, his older brother and him to a tough life. To make matters worse, his mother’s own parents became ill, forcing the family to borrow from and take up residence with relatives.


However, King is a shining example of beating all odds despite growing up in poverty.


Oprah Winfrey


Perhaps the most successful individual on our list, both in terms of net worth and her incredible story growing up, Oprah Winfrey is recognised globally, but her life wasn’t all glitz.


When she was younger, her mother left her in the care of her grandmother and, at the time, was forced to wear clothes that had been made out of potato sacks due to the poverty she lived in.


She returned to her mother’s care at the age of six, only to be looked after by her relatives soon after, as her mother could not support her and her half-sister.


Today, she is a shining example and an inspiration to many.


These are just five celebrities that had poor childhoods, all of which are a fantastic example of how individuals can succeed with the right support and pathway.


Here at, we aim to make the futures of those living in poverty brighter, so they may become leaders of their communities. You can support children and adults alike by donating to one of our campaigns, and make a difference today.

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