CEOs Without College Degrees

BusinessWeek

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The thousands of wait-listed would-be MBAs who may not get the chance to go to their dream B-school might want to draw inspiration from the following group of CEOs. Not only did they not get graduate degrees, they didn't get undergraduate degrees -- and some never even attended college.

Of course, not having a degree didn't stop them from being a big name on campus. You'll find Alfred Taubman's name at Brown, Harvard, the University of Michigan, and Lawrence Technological University; at least one building on each campus bears his name, although the retail magnate and philanthropist never finished college. Read on to learn who else made it into corporate top spots without the benefit of a bachelor's degree.
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1. Dennis AlbaughChairman, Albaugh
Type of Business: Pesticides
Education: Associate's degree from Des Moines Area Community College
Fun fact: He has a collection of more than 100 classic Chevrolets

2. Paul Allen

Founder and chairman, Vulcan
Type of Business: Media, telecommunications
Education: Dropped out of Washington State College after two years
Fun fact: He persuaded Bill Gates to drop out of Harvard. They later founded Microsoft (MSFT) together.
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3. Richard BransonCEO, Virgin Group
Type of Business: Travel, radio, TV, music, venture capital
Education: No college degree
Fun fact: He became an entrepreneur at age 16 with the creation of Student magazine.

4. Maverick Carter

CEO, LRMR Innovative Marketing & Branding
Type of Business: Marketing
Education: 3.5 years of college at Western Michigan University and University of Akron combined
Quote: "Don't be afraid if you see an opportunity to go and give it shot. You can finish school later; it's always there."

5. John Paul DeJoria

CEO, John Paul Mitchell Systems
Type of Business: Hair-care products
Education: No college
Fun fact: He started out selling greeting cards at age 9.

6. Michael Dell

Founder, chairman, and CEO Dell (DELL)
Type of Business: Computers
Education: Attended University of Texas, Austin; did not finish.
Quote: "When I started our company, it was very much an idea outside of the conventional wisdom, and if there were people telling me that it wasn't going to work, I wasn't really listening to them."

7. Felix Dennis

Founder and chairman, Alpha Media Group, formerly Dennis Publishing
Type of Business: Publishing (Maxim, The Week)
Education: No college degree
Fun fact: He wrote a biography and published a magazine about Bruce Lee; sales surged when the martial arts star died suddenly in 1973.

8. Barry Diller

Chairman and CEO of IAC/InterActiveCorp (IACI)
Type of Business: Media
Education: Dropped out of UCLA after three weeks
Fun fact: He started his career working in the mail room of the William Morris Agency.

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