Many celebrities have been in the news lately for adopting children. Charlize Theron and Sandra Bullock are two of the most recent, and Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are probably the most prolific. But, did you know there are actually a lot of celebrities who themselves are adopted? The following are five celebrities who were adopted as children and went on to achieve great fame.
Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple Inc., was given up for adoption at birth in San Francisco in 1955. He was adopted by Paul and Clara Jobs, and he grew up with his new family in Los Altos, California. After achieving financial success as an adult, Steve Jobs tracked down his birth mother, Joanne Simpson. He learned that Joanne had married his birth father, John Jandali, and that Jobs had a sister, Mona. Steve become very close with Mona who later delivered the eulogy at his funeral.
Frances McDormand, perhaps best known for her Oscar-winning role in “Fargo,” was born in Chicago in 1957. She become the fourth child adopted by the Canadian minister, Vernon McDormand, and his wife, Noreen. In 1994, Frances adopted a child born in Paraguay with her husband, Joel Coen.
Ray Liotta, famous for his tough Italian mobster roles, is surprisingly not of Italian descent. Ray was born in New Jersey, and was adopted by Alfred and Mary Liotta. His adoptive parents also adopted a daughter a few years later. When Ray and his wife, Michelle Grace, learned they were expecting a child, Liotta hired a private detective to find his birth mother. In the process, he discovered that he had five biological sisters and a brother. Liotta admitted, after meeting his birth mother, that being given up for adoption may have been the best thing that ever happened to him, because his mother realized she was not fit at to be a good mother to him at the time he was born.
Jamie Foxx, who won a Best Actor Oscar for his role in “Ray,” was born Earl Marlon Bishop. He was seven months old when his birth mother gave him to her parents to adopt. Interestingly, Foxx’s birth mother was herself adopted by Mark and Ester-Marie Talley, the grandparents who raised Jamie. Foxx credits his grandmother for encouraging him and inspiring him to pursue his acting talent.
John Lennon had a particularly bad start in life. He was born to a poor couple in Liverpool; his father was a sailor away at sea, and his mother was not well suited to motherhood. When he was seven years old, John was taken from his home by Social Services. He was adopted by his birth mother’s sister and her husband. Lennon’s uncle (and adoptive father) bought him his first musical instrument. His aunt (and adoptive mother) would often play Elvis Presley and Fats Domino records for him. A BBC poll in 2002 showed that Britons considered Lennon the eighth greatest Brit in history, and in 2008, Rolling Stone magazine ranked Lennon as the fifth greatest singer of all time.
Peter Wendt is a blogger who recently adopted a child. Although exciting, the process of adoption was daunting. Fortunately, Wendt acquired the services of Angela Stout, an adoption lawyer who helped ensure the process went smoothly.
If you’re looking for career advice, why not learn from the best? Those who have already scrabbled up the corporate ladder or built a successful business from the ground up have lots of wisdom to share. The career advice they dispense has several themes running through it, and might just be a recipe for success.
Lots of success stories start with the main character taking a huge gamble. Maybe an entrepreneur quits his steady job to found his own company or an investor puts it all on the line and risks his life savings. So, be bold and follow your instincts. As these businesspeople attest, risk taking was key to their success.
• “The important thing is not being afraid to take a chance. Remember, the greatest failure is to not try.”—Debbi Fields, founder of Mrs. Fields Cookies
• “The cover-your-butt mentality of the workplace will get you only so far. The follow-your-gut mentality of the entrepreneur has the potential to take you anywhere you want to go or run you right out of business—but it’s a whole lot more fun, don’t you think?”—Bill Rancic, Real Estate Developer, Motivational Speaker, TV Star, and Winner of the First Season of “The Apprentice”
Business opportunities do not come to those who sit around and wait. Thinking about moving up in your career does nothing to advance you up the corporate ladder, and dreaming about being your own boss does nothing to make that a reality. Take the necessary steps to qualify for a promotion or start your own business. As these top businesspeople attest, those who snooze are sure to lose.
• “The critical ingredient is getting off your butt and doing something. It’s as simple as that. A lot of people have ideas, but there are few who decide to do something about them now. Not tomorrow. Not next week. But today. The true entrepreneur is a doer, not a dreamer.”—Nolan Bushnell, founder of Atari and Chuck E. Cheese
• “I had to make my own living and my own opportunity! But I made it! Don’t sit down and wait for the opportunities to come. Get up and make them!”—Madam C.J. Walker, late founder of Madam C.J. Walker Manufacturing Company and America’s first self-made female millionaire
It’s often determination to succeed that sets executives apart from cubicle-dwellers and successful entrepreneurs apart from quitters. If you fall off that corporate ladder or your first attempt at building a business fails, try again. These business leaders didn’t give up, and neither should you.
• “You’ve got to say, ‘I think that if I keep working at this and want it badly enough I can have it.’ It’s called perseverance.”—Lee Iacocca, former President and CEO of Chrysler
• “I’m convinced that about half of what separates the successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance.”—Steve Jobs, late co-founder, chairman and CEO of Apple
So, take it from these successful business professionals: Take chances, make things happen and persevere no matter what to build a successful career.
Author Byline: Isaac writes for a leading NHS agency with Midwifery jobs and doctor positions throughout the UK and further afield.
When I read the tweets and Facebook posts regarding the death of Apple co-founder, Steve Jobs, I had no idea who he was or why he was so important. I had been asked by a few people if I had heard about his death that day and my response was, “Yes, but I had no idea who he was!”. In return I got laughter and one person even reminded me that he’s responsible for my iPod, which I had just purchased earlier this year and it’s probably the most up to date piece of technology that I own.
I am not the type of person that has to have the latest piece of new technology, so I am very far removed from knowing much about it or anyone affiliated with it. Anyway, I know who he is and what he was responsible for in his life, and I want to say, THANKS :)