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    Successful failures

    A few examples of successful failures, culled from Ed Lucaire’s book, Celebrity Setbacks: 800 Stars Who Overcame the Odds (1994).

    Michael Jordan, one of basketball’s greatest players, did not make the high school basketball team in his sophomore year. His coach said “he wasn’t good enough.” Mickey Mantle struck out 710 times. Emily Dickinson wrote about 1,800 poems, but only seven were published in her lifetime. Ted Turner of Turner Broadcasting was suspended twice from Brown University. Eventually he dropped out. Julia Child could barely cook until she was 34; that’s when she attended her first cooking school.

    Orville Wright was expelled from the sixth grade for bad behaviour. Jay Leno, comedian, had a fifth-grade teacher who said, “If Jay spent as much time studying as he does trying to be a comedian, he’d be a big star.” Charles Schulz failed algebra, Latin, English, and physics in high school and had his cartoons rejected by the yearbook staff. He once applied for a cartoonist job at the Walt Disney studios, but was turned down.

    Whoopi Goldberg is a high school dropout. She once worked in a mortuary doing reconstruction work on hair and lips. Robin Williams was voted “Least Likely to Succeed” in high school. Katherine Hepburn was expelled from Bryn Mawr College for smoking a cigarette. Christie Brinkley, supermodel, says she was chubby as a teenager. Benjamin Franklin went to school only from age eight to age 10.

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