10 Well Known People Who Filed Bankruptcy

Bankruptcy used to have a stigma attached, but after a period of time people began to realize bankruptcy isn’t something to be ashamed of or avoid, that it’s a service created to help people who’ve been hit with hard times. Imagine those sleepless nights, the weight on your shoulders and the fear of opening your mail all GONE. That’s exactly what bankruptcy can do for you. Can you recover from bankruptcy? Take a look at the list below to see some of the most successful people who came back from bankruptcy.

1) Abraham Lincoln

Ironically, Abraham Lincoln’s face is all over our money. It’s ironic because Abraham Lincoln once didn’t have a dime to his name and now his head is printed on the $5 bill. Before his presidential days, Honest Abe ran a store not nearly as successful as his later endeavors. It's safe to say Lincoln wasn’t the best storekeeper. Lincoln owed $1,000 (almost $28,000 in today’s currency) after his partner died. Despite this, Abraham Lincoln went on to be one of the most famous and inspirational presidents.

2) Walt Disney

Everyone knows who Walt Disney is, but people often don’t know that he filed bankruptcy. When a film deal turned sour and Walt’s client didn’t pay, he had nothing except debts and bills. Five years later, Walt went on to create Mickey Mouse and one of the world’s largest media and entertainment companies.

3) Henry Ford

Henry Ford filed bankruptcy in 1903, but that did not stop him from building a huge automotive empire. He tried, failed, and tried again. He kept on trying until his dream became a reality. His net worth at the time of his death in 1947 is estimated at $199,000,000,000 in today's dollars – yes, billion. Who’d have thought Henry Ford had ever filed bankruptcy?

4) Donald Trump

A famous businessman, 45th President of the United States, and a keen user of the phrase “you’re fired!” Donald Trump is no stranger to bankruptcy. Still in business and profiting, Donald Trump has filed for business bankruptcy not once, not twice, not three times, but four times.  Donald Trump is the third President to have filed bankruptcy.

5) Larry King

Before Larry King was a huge hit on American radio and television, he was in over $350,000 of debt. The same year Larry filed for bankruptcy would be the very same year he would embark on his 25-year career as one of the most popular radio and television hosts in America.

6) Ulysses S Grant

Ulysses Grant is the second President to have filed bankruptcy. He was the leader of the Union army in the Civil War and our nation's 18th President. After serving as President, Grant was a partner in a Wall Street investment firm and was cheated by a swindling partner and left destitute. Grant went on to create literary works that brought him back from bankruptcy.

7) Wayne Newton

In 1992, Wayne filed for bankruptcy to help with the $20,000,000 debt which he’d accrued trying to sue broadcasting giant, NBC. Within seven years, Wayne was financially stable again and rebuilt a fortune despite his bankruptcy.

8) George Foreman

Before George’s lean, mean, grilling machines, he was a boxer down on his luck and out of pocket. He filed for bankruptcy before reinventing himself and becoming a highly successful entrepreneur with a wide range of kitchen products. George Foreman has an estimated wealth of over $250,000,000.

9) Milton Hershey

Prior to Milton Hershey’s successful career as a chocolatier, he filed bankruptcy after running an unsuccessful candy store for six years. He didn’t give up there. He returned home and created a company where he would perfect milk and caramel production, only to sell the company for $1,000,000 so he could finance his ambitious project of perfecting milk chocolate which would be known as The Hershey Foods Corporation, known now as The Hershey Company, or more well-known as just Hershey.

10) Francis Ford Coppola

Some of you may not know Francis Coppola. Coppola is the writer, producer and director of The Godfather trilogy and other box office hits. Even though he filed for bankruptcy, it hasn’t affected his career and he’s still in production making awesome movies.

No Shame in Filing

Now that you’ve seen a list of 10 successful people who filed bankruptcy and went on the great success—and there are many more people—maybe you’ll feel a little better about bankruptcy. Bankruptcy isn’t anything to be ashamed of and should be utilized where possible by those who need its protection. Unfortunately, no one can predict a hardship which may knock our lives into financial chaos. Bankruptcy was given to us by Congress as a way to deal with financial problems. So if you have a mountain of debt, don’t bury your head in the sand; tackle the problem and consider what bankruptcy can do for you. 

If you have questions about bankruptcy, I recommend using a qualified Fort Worth bankruptcy attorney.  As an experienced and dedicated Fort Worth bankruptcy attorney, I can offer advice on how to proceed based on your specific situation.  You and I can meet face to face to discuss your options.  I look forward to helping you become debt free.  To schedule a FREE consultation, please contact me at (817) 732-7590 or (972) 819-3861.  You can also send me an E-mail or complete the Free Case Evaluation.