Famous Harvard Dropouts

Harvard University is known for its esteemed reputation as one of the world’s most prestigious institutions of higher education. It has seen countless accomplished graduates pass through its gates. However, some individuals have made a different choice—to leave Harvard before completing their degrees—and have gone on to achieve remarkable success and recognition in various fields. In this article, we’re going to unveil the names of 8 Famous Harvard Dropouts or successful Harvard dropouts who made it big despite their degrees.

Today, famous Harvard dropouts include tech moguls, renowned authors, entrepreneurs, and entertainers who have left an indelible mark on society. Their stories serve as a support to the idea that formal education is not the sole path to greatness.

8 Famous Harvard Dropouts Today-Harvard Famous Graduates

Bill Gates

Bill Gates
  • Born: October 28, 1955 (age 67)
  • Education: Harvard University
  • Known for:

Bill Gates is one of the most famous Harvard dropouts. He wrote his first software program at the age of 13. Gates attended Harvard University but left in 1975 to pursue his passion for computer programming. He dropped out of Harvard after two years at Harvard when he was just 26. Along with Paul Allen, he co-founded Microsoft in 1975. Microsoft became one of the world’s leading technology companies, which is responsible for the development of the Windows operating system and numerous software products.

Bill Gates is not just a businessman but an investor, philanthropist, programmer, and writer. As of August 2023, Bill Gates is the fifth-richest person in the world, with an estimated net worth of US$126 billion.

If you are born poor it’s not your mistake, but if you die poor it’s your mistake. — Bill Gates

Mark Zuckerberg

Mark Zuckerberg
  • Born: May 14, 1984 (age 39)
  • Education: Harvard University (dropped out)
  • Known for: Co-founder, executive chairman and CEO of Meta Platforms (formerly Facebook, Inc.)

Mark Zuckerberg is another on the list of famous Harvard dropouts. Zuckerberg is an American business magnate, computer programmer, internet entrepreneur, and philanthropist. He attended Harvard but left in 2004 to work on his social networking platforms. He was a computer enthusiast from the very beginning, which led him to revolutionise a major part of social media that we use today. Much before creating Facebook, he created the Facemash website at his college.

Also Read: 13 Famous Stanford Dropout Billionaires List

In his sophomore year, he wrote a program that he called CourseMatch, which allowed users to make class selection decisions based on the choices of other students and help them form study groups. Later, he co-founded Facebook with fellow students. Facebook went on to become one of the world’s largest and most influential social media companies. Today, Zuckerberg is listed as one of the most influential people in the world. Not just that, he is also a billionaire who dropped out of college to pursue what he was best at.

In a world that’s changing really quickly, the only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks. — Mark Zuckerberg

Jared Friedman

Jared Friedman
  • Born: 1984
  • Education: Harvard University (dropped out)
  • Known for: Co-founder of Scribd

Jared Friedman attended Harvard but dropped out to co-found Scribd, a digital library and publishing platform. Scribd allows users to upload, read, and share a wide range of documents, books, and audiobooks. Jared Friedman is an American entrepreneur and angel investor. Friedman co-founded Scribd with fellow Harvard University student Trip Adler. He is also a popular investor in today’s date. Today he is counted among Harvard famous graduates.

If you don’t have good startup ideas now, the way to get better ones isn’t to think really hard – it’s to build stuff, to launch it and learn from what happens. — Jared Friedman

Bom Kim

Bom Kim
  • Born: October 7, 1978 (age 44)
  • Education: Harvard University (BA), Harvard Business School (dropped out)
  • Known for:

Bom Kim is a Korean-American businessman and entrepreneur. He is the founder and chief executive officer of Coupang, the largest e-commerce company in South Korea. He founded Coupang in 2010. Bom Kim has also joined the ranks of the world’s richest people from South Korea. His net worth is US$2.7 billion as of March 2023. He graduated from Harvard College with a Bachelor of Arts degree, and attended Harvard Business School, dropping out in his second semester.

Robert Frost

Robert Frost
  • Born: March 26, 1874
  • Education: Harvard University (dropped out)
  • Known for: Poet, playwright

We all have read poems from Robert Frost. Well, the famous poet Robert Frost is again on the list of famous Harvard dropouts who attended Harvard University from 1897 to 1899 but did not earn a degree. Robert Frost briefly attended Harvard, just for two years. He left the university voluntarily. He went on to become one of the most celebrated American poets of the 20th century, known for his poems such as “The Road Not Taken” and “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening.”

The woods are lovely, dark and deep, But I have promises to keep, And miles to go before I sleep, And miles to go before I sleep. — Robert Frost

Matt Damon

Matt Damon
  • Born: October 8, 1970 (age 52)
  • Education: Harvard University (dropped out)
  • Known for: American actor

Matt Damon is an American actor, film producer, and screenwriter. He attended Harvard University but didn’t receive the degree. he went out to pursue an acting career. He is well known for his roles in films such as “Good Will Hunting,” which he co-wrote with Ben Affleck.

Matt also made it to the list of successful Harvard dropouts. He is a recipient of awards and nominations like the Academy Award, two Golden Globe Awards, and seven Primetime Emmy Awards. Damon began his acting career in the film Mystic Pizza (1988). During his academic pursuits, he also attended the Cambridge Alternative School and Cambridge Rindge and Latin School.

It’s better to be a fake somebody than a real nobody. — Matt Damon

David Foster Wallace

David Foster Wallace
  • Born: February 21, 1962
  • Education: Amherst College (BA), University of Arizona (MFA), Harvard University (dropped out)
  • Known for: Novelist

David Foster Wallace attended Harvard to study philosophy and later dropped out. He gained recognition for his acclaimed novels and essays, including “Infinite Jest” and “Consider the Lobster.” Wallace’s works are known for their intellectual depth and exploration of modern society. He was an American novelist, short story writer, essayist, and university professor of English. His posthumous novel, The Pale King, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2012.

Everybody is identical in their secret, unspoken belief that way deep down they are different from everyone else. — David Foster Wallace

James Park

James Park
  • Born: 1976
  • Education: Harvard College (drop out)
  • Known for: Co-founder of Fitbit

James Park, another one on the list of successful Harvard dropouts, is a South Korean-American technology entrepreneur. James is the last on this list of famous Harvard dropouts who are billionaires as well. He co-founded Fitbit, a company specializing in fitness-tracking devices and wearable technology. Fitbit’s products have had a significant impact on the health and fitness industry. James Park announced that Fitbit became part of Google on January 14, 2021. He studied computer science as an undergraduate at Harvard College but dropped out his junior year to pursue his own business.

You cannot find comfort in ducks. Stoop to look into those beady brown eyes, and they will tell you nothing. — James Park

Hope you found this article on successful Harvard dropouts, or famous Harvard dropouts, useful and informative.