Famous American Entrepreneurs

Ask an entrepreneur who had the guts to cast off corporate shackles and kick start his own business, and he will tell you that it is the most fulfilling and perhaps the most nerve-racking thing that he has ever tried. For those with entrepreneurial minds, nothing beats the sense of freedom that comes with breaking away from the routine job and becoming one's own boss. But such freedom always comes with a price. Nearly all accomplished entrepreneurs will amuse you with long, inspiring stories long nights, lean times and near-catastrophes. Becoming an entrepreneur warrants diving in all the way, because you cannot just waddle into it half-heartedly and do well. Entrepreneurial success is not always about business as much as it is about one's ability to innovate and create value. America, the land of opportunities, where hard work and intelligence never goes in vain, has borne scores of entrepreneurial heroes, who have contributed heavily in the wealth building of the country. Explore all about the timeline, trivia, and interesting facts about American entrepreneurs in their biographies here.

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

Vote for Your Favourite American Entrepreneurs

 1 Donald Trump

Donald Trump.
85
Famous As: 45th U.S. President
Birthdate: June 14, 1946
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: New York City, New York

The former President of the United States, Donald Trump was arguably the most controversial president in the American history. He has been characterised as racist and his actions and policies divided America like never before. He lost his bid for re-election to Joe Biden in a bitterly fought election .

 2 Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs.
36
Famous As: Co-founder of Apple
Birthdate: February 24, 1955
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: San Francisco
Died: October 5, 2011
A college dropout, Steve Jobs, went on to be regarded as the Father of the Digital World. The founder/co-founder of Apple Inc, Pixar Animation Studios and NeXT Inc was a passionate visionary who was responsible for the development of iMac, iPod, iTunes, iPad and the iPhone which ushered in a new era in the computer, music and film industries.

 3 Jeff Bezos

Jeff Bezos.
24
Famous As: Founder of Amazon.com
Birthdate: January 12, 1964
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Albuquerque, New Mexico, United States

The founder and CEO of the multi-national technology company Amazon, Jeff Bezos is the wealthiest man in the world. Jeff, who left his lucrative job at an investment firm to fulfil his entrepreneurial ambition, also owns the newspaper, The Washington Post, and its affiliate publications along with a spaceflight company, Blue Origin.

 4 Bill Gates

Bill Gates.
33
Famous As: Co-Founder of Microssoft
Birthdate: October 28, 1955
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Seattle, Washington, United States

Leading American technologist, business leader and philanthropist, Bill Gates is the co-founder of the world’s largest software company, Microsoft. His passion for computers made him one of the richest in the world and through his charity foundation, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, he and his ex-wife, Melinda, use this money generously to help people world over live a better life.

Recommended Lists:

 5 Beyonce Knowles

Beyonce Knowles.
5
Famous As: Singer-Songwriter
Birthdate: September 4, 1981
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Houston, Texas, United States

Beyonce Knowles is a singer, songwriter, and actress. She developed an interest in music as a child. As a teenager, she became the lead singer of Destiny's Child, one of the best-selling girl groups of all time. As of today, she is one of the world's best-selling recording artists. 

 6 Caitlyn Jenner

Caitlyn Jenner.
0
Famous As: Media Personality, Socialite
Birthdate: October 28, 1949
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Mount Kisco, New York, United States

Bruce Jenner, who changed her name to Caitlyn Jenner after coming out as a trans woman in 2015, is an American TV personality and former decathlete. Jenner won a gold medal for the USA at the 1976 Olympics. Often referred to as the most popular transgender woman in the world, Jenner serves as an inspiration to the LGBTQ community.

 7 Mark Zuckerberg

Mark Zuckerberg.
38
Famous As: Chief Executive Officer of Facebook
Birthdate: May 14, 1984
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: White Plains, New York, United States

The co-founder and CEO of the popular social networking website, Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg is also amongst the richest men in the world. Fascinated by computer since his early life, Zuckerberg co-created TheFacebook while still in college and later even dropped out to devote more time to it. At 23, he became the youngest self-made billionaire in history at that time.

You May Like

 8 Ivana Trump

Ivana Trump.
22
Famous As: Ex-Wife of Donald Trump, Businesswoman
Birthdate: February 20, 1949
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Zlín, Czechia

Currently. a businesswoman and media personality, Ivana Trump started her career as a model. She is best known for being the first wife of Donald Trump, who she married in 1977. Their marriage was a troubled one and ended in a bitter, much-publicized divorce after she discovered her husband’s extramarital affair with Marla Maples.

Recommended Lists:

 9 Warren Buffett

Warren Buffett.
3
Famous As: Business Magnate, Investor, Philanthropist
Birthdate: August 30, 1930
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Omaha, Nebraska, United States

American investor, business tycoon and philanthropist Warren Buffett is considered one of the most successful investors in the world by the media. The chairman and largest shareholder of the firm, Berkshire Hathaway, he is often called as the ‘Oracle’ or ‘Sage’ of Omaha. Notably, he has pledged to give away a sizable portion of his wealth to philanthropic causes.

 10 Walt Disney

Walt Disney.
7
Birthdate: December 5, 1901
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Chicago
Died: December 15, 1966

Walt Disney is considered to be the forerunner of the American animation industry. He has won 22 Oscars and holds the record for most Academy Awards earned by an individual as a film producer. His The Walt Disney Company‍ has produced many successful animation films. He later established amusement theme park, Disneyland, in 1955, which has since grown manifold.

 11 Jared Kushner

Jared Kushner.
18
Famous As: Senior Advisor to the President of the United States
Birthdate: January 10, 1981
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Livingston, New Jersey, United States

Married to Ivanka Trump, Jared Kushner is a senior advisor to his father-in-law and US President, Donald Trump. This has led to concerns about nepotism and conflicts of interest. His proximity with Russian officials came under scrutiny during a federal investigation regarding Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential elections. Jared Kushner is also an investor, real estate developer and newspaper publisher.

 12 Donald Trump Jr.

Donald Trump Jr..
32
Famous As: Political Activist, Businessman
Birthdate: December 31, 1977
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Manhattan, New York, United States
Donald Trump Jr., the eldest son of former US President Donald Trump joined his father’s business at Trump Organization in 2001 and later became its executive vice president. He takes keen interest in politics and was also involved in his father’s presidential campaign. Many of his controversial statements have attracted huge criticism. He is also an author and a television personality.
Recommended Lists:

 13 Howard Hughes

Howard Hughes.
0
Famous As: Entrepreneur, Investor
Birthdate: December 24, 1905
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Humble, Texas, US
Died: April 5, 1976

A multi-talented personality, Howard Hughes was one of the richest person of his time. A business tycoon, he made big investments in films and aviation industry. Passionate about flying, he set numerous flying records, and also risked his own life in process. Howard Hughes who inherited his family business and became millionaire at the age of 18, was later on troubled with mental illness and turned recluse.

 14 Hugh Hefner

Hugh Hefner.
3
Famous As: Founder of Playboy Magazine
Birthdate: April 9, 1926
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Chicago
Died: September 27, 2017

As the founder of Playboy magazine, Hugh Hefner changed the way people viewed nudity. Known for his enviable lifestyle, he resided in luxury mansions along with his Playboy Playmates. Also a well-known philanthropist, Hefner made significant donations to various causes. He also supported freedom of expression and sexual liberation.

Recommended Lists:

 15 Michael Bloomberg

Michael Bloomberg.
8
Famous As: Mayor of New York City
Birthdate: February 14, 1942
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: St. Elizabeth's Medical Center
Former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg went from working at a parking lot, to owning the media house Bloomberg L.P. The sixteenth-richest person in the world, as of 2020, Bloomberg is also a devoted philanthropist and has signed The Giving Pledge. He was also part of the Democratic presidential nomination.

 16 Fred Trump

Fred Trump.
5
Famous As: Real Estate Developer
Birthdate: October 11, 1905
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: The Bronx, New York City, New York
Died: June 25, 1999
Fred Trump, father of Donald Trump, was a well-known real estate developer who built more than 27 thousand apartments in New York. Having lost his father early, Fred ventured into construction business with his mother when he was fifteen. Determined, he built himself a huge fortune but controversies surrounded him too including an investigation for not renting to black families.

 17 Mark Cuban

Mark Cuban.
7
Famous As: Businessman
Birthdate: July 31, 1958
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States

Entrepreneur, television personality and media proprietor Mark Cuban is a prolific inventor. He is a named inventor of 11 patent families. He displayed an entrepreneurial spirit from a young age and started many business ventures while still in college. A sports fan, he is the owner of the National Basketball Association's (NBA) Dallas Mavericks.

 18 Priscilla Presley

Priscilla Presley.
12
Famous As: Film actress
Birthdate: May 24, 1945
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Brooklyn
The former wife of Elvis Presley, Priscilla Presley’s career actually began after divorce. She set up a successful clothing boutique, launched her own line of fragrance and linen and established herself as an actor with projects like The Naked Gun and Dallas. She also worked to convert Graceland estate, Elvis Presley’s residence, into a famous tourist attraction in US.

 19 P. T. Barnum

P. T.  Barnum.
3
Famous As: American politician
Birthdate: July 5, 1810
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Bethel
Died: April 7, 1891

P. T. Barnum was an American politician, showman, and businessman. He is credited with founding the famous Barnum & Bailey Circus, which ran for 146 years. He is also credited with co-founding the Bridgeport & Port Jefferson Steamboat Company, which is one of the oldest American ferry companies. His life and work have inspired many films, including The Greatest Showman.

 20 Eric Trump

Eric Trump
11
Famous As: Businessperson
Birthdate: January 6, 1984
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Manhattan, New York, United States

 21 Sean Combs

Sean Combs.
1
Famous As: Rapper
Birthdate: November 4, 1969
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Harlem, New York, United States
Three-time Grammy-winning hip-hop legend Sean Combs, known to fans as Puffy, Puff Daddy, or Diddy, started off as a talent director with Uptown and then launched his own record label. His debut album, No Way Out, was certified 7Xplatinum, and his song I'll Be Missing You topped the Billboard charts. 

 22 Rupert Murdoch

Rupert Murdoch.
6
Famous As: Media Mogul
Birthdate: March 11, 1931
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Melbourne, Australia

Rupert Murdoch’s company News Corp owns hundreds of publishing outlets and TV channels around the world, including The Sun, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Post and Fox News. His media houses have been accused of hacking the phones of celebrities and public citizens. He has also had to face allegations of bribery and corruption in the UK and the US.

 23 Martin Shkreli

Martin Shkreli.
3
Famous As: Executive
Birthdate: March 17, 1983
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, United States
Martin Shkreli, founder and former CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals, received a 7-year prison sentence for securities fraud after he secured the manufacturing license for Daraprim and raised its price from $13.50 to $750 per pill. He had bought the only copy of the album Once Upon a Time in Shaolin.

 24 John D. Rockefeller

John D. Rockefeller.
3
Famous As: Businessman
Birthdate: July 8, 1839
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Richford, New York, United States
Died: May 23, 1937

Widely regarded as the richest person in modern history and the wealthiest American ever, John D. Rockefeller was a business magnate who founded the Standard Oil Company. He was America’s first billionaire. He also defined the structure of modern philanthropy as the foundations created by him had a major effect on scientific research, medicine, and education.

 25 Ray Kroc

Ray Kroc.
4
Famous As: Founder of the McDonald’s Corporation
Birthdate: October 5, 1902
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Oak Park, Illinois, U.S.
Died: January 14, 1984

Ray Kroc was the man who helped expand McDonald's into a global franchise, eventually turning it into the most successful fast food corporation. Not surprisingly, he was mentioned in Time magazine's Time 100: The Most Important People of the Century list. He was also the owner of the popular baseball team San Diego Padres.

 26 Colonel Sanders

Colonel Sanders.
0
Famous As: Founder of KFC
Birthdate: September 9, 1890
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Henryville, Indiana, United States
Died: December 16, 1980

Colonel Sanders is the man who revolutionized the American fast food industry by founding the restaurant chain Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC). Establishing a style trademark by wearing a white suit and black string tie, Sanders went on to become a symbol of the KFC brand. Such is the popularity of the brand, the symbol is recognized all over the world.

 27 Martha Stewart

Martha Stewart.
7
Famous As: Businesswoman
Birthdate: August 3, 1941
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Jersey City, New Jersey, United States

The founder of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Martha Stewart has found success with several business ventures. She is also the publisher of a magazine called Martha Stewart Living and has written many bestselling books. Although she was convicted of charges pertaining to the ImClone stock trading case, she made a comeback and became chairwoman of her company.

 28 Larry Page

Larry Page.
22
Famous As: Co-founder of Google
Birthdate: March 26, 1973
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Lansing, Michigan, U.S.

Larry Page is an American Internet entrepreneur and computer scientist. As one of the co-founders of the multinational technology company Google, Larry Page effectively changed the way the world functions today as Google is a synonym for a search engine in many parts of the world. Unsurprisingly, he became a billionaire after co-founding Google.

 29 Betsy DeVos

Betsy DeVos.
1
Famous As: United States Secretary of Education
Birthdate: January 8, 1958
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Holland, Michigan, United States

Betsy DeVos, the current United States Secretary of Education, is famous for her support for school voucher programs, school choice, and charter schools. Also known for her philanthropy and activism, Betsy DeVos launched the Dick & Betsy DeVos Family Foundation in 1989. The foundation donates to hospitals, arts organizations, health research, Christian schools, etc.

 30 Kate Spade

Kate Spade.
3
Famous As: Fashion designer
Birthdate: December 24, 1962
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Kansas City, Missouri
Died: June 5, 2018

Kate Spade was an American entrepreneur and fashion designer. Spade is credited with founding Kate Spade New York, a popular luxury fashion design house, which competes with the likes of Michael Kors. Kate Spade is also credited with creating stylish and affordable handbags that caused quite a revolution in the fashion world.

 31 Steve Wozniak

Steve Wozniak.
0
Famous As: Co-founder of Apple Computer (Apple Inc.)
Birthdate: August 11, 1950
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: San Jose, California, United States

Widely recognized as one of the two important pioneers of the personal computer revolution, Steve Wozniak is credited with co-founding Apple Inc. along with Steve Jobs. Not surprisingly, he has been described as one of the men that changed the course of history through technology. Apart from being a programmer and technology entrepreneur, Steve Wozniak is also a well-known philanthropist.

 32 Henry Ford

Henry Ford.
7
Famous As: Industrialist
Birthdate: July 30, 1863
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Greenfield Township, Michigan, United States
Died: April 7, 1947

Business magnate and founder of the Ford Motor Company, Henry Ford is credited to have made the automobile an accessible conveyance for Americans in the 20th century. Following the success of his company, he became one of the richest and best-known people in the world. He also became known for his pacifism during the first years of World War I.

 33 Michael Jordan

Michael Jordan.
2
Famous As: Basketball player
Birthdate: February 17, 1963
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, United States

A superstar, a legend and the greatest basketball player of all time, Michael Jordan is all this and much more. Very few athletes can match up with his level of popularity and impact. And if that is not enough, he is also the richest former professional athlete in the world.

 34 LeBron James

LeBron James.
1
Famous As: NBA Star
Birthdate: December 30, 1984
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Akron, Ohio, United States

A basketball prodigy, Lebron James began playing since his school days and was later selected by Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2003 NBA draft. His career progressed at a rapid rate and he is considered to be one of the greatest players in NBA history. During his stint with Miami Heat, he helped them win two NBA Championships. Currently, he plays for Los Angeles Lakers 

 35 Carole Baskin

Carole Baskin.
12
Famous As: Big-Cat Rights Activist
Birthdate: June 6, 1961
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Bexar County, Texas, United States

Carole Baskin gained recognition after being featured in a documentary series titled Tiger King, which follows her feuds with private zoo operator Joe Exotic. As the CEO of a non-profit animal sanctuary called Big Cat Rescue, Carole condemns private zoos. She has also been the subject of conspiracy theories pertaining to the disappearance of her second husband Don Lewis.

 36 Alexis Ohanian

Alexis Ohanian.
5
Famous As: Internet Entrepreneur
Birthdate: April 24, 1983
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States
Internet entrepreneur and Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian is also known as the husband of legendary tennis player Serena Williams. Named to Forbes 30 Under 30 twice, he spoke strongly against the 2011 Stop Online Piracy Act, wrote a bestselling book, and is an advocate for the paternity leave policy.

 37 Arnold Schwarzenegger

Arnold Schwarzenegger.
1
Famous As: Former Governor of California
Birthdate: July 30, 1947
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Thal

Former professional bodybuilder, actor, and politician, Arnold Schwarzenegger, needs no introduction! One of the most popular figures in the entertainment industry in the 20th century, he is a much-admired Hollywood star. Rising to international fame despite hailing from a humble background, he is an epitome the quintessential American dream that many youngsters hold close to their hearts.

 38 Dany Garcia

Dany Garcia.
0
Famous As: Producer
Birthdate: November 29, 1968
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Miami, Florida

Dany Garcia, founder of The Garcia Companies, is an American media mogul. She offers various services and manages brands, talent and projects on multiple platforms. Her Seven Bucks Productions has produced several successful films like Baywatch, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, Jumanji: The Next Level and Rampage. Many of them have been with her ex-husband and action hero Dwayne Johnson.

 39 Ivanka Trump

Ivanka Trump.
43
Famous As: Daughter of Donald Trump
Birthdate: October 30, 1981
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Manhattan, New York City, New York

Ivanka Trump is the daughter of the U.S. President Donald Trump and since 2017, she has been serving as Advisor to the President.  Before venturing into politics, she dabbled a bit in modelling, became a television personality, worked as executive vice-president of the Trump Organization and also launched her own eponymous fashion line. A published author, Ivanka also supports numerous charitable causes.

 40 Kylie Jenner

Kylie Jenner.
1
Famous As: Model, Reality Star
Birthdate: August 10, 1997
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States
An elite socialite and fashion model, Kylie Jenner is the head of Kylie Cosmetics and creator of the hugely popular line of lipsticks, Kylie Lip Kit. Thrown into the limelight in her teens, courtesy the reality series Keeping Up With The Kardashians, Jenner has since gone on to become a highly successful businesswomen and social media influencer.

 41 Guy Fieri

Guy Fieri.
0
Famous As: Restaurateur, Cookbook Author
Birthdate: January 22, 1968
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Columbus, Ohio, United States

Primarily a restaurateur, Guy Fieri is a testimony to the fact that any professional can become famous if they are passionate enough in doing what they do best. From being a restaurateur, he went on to become a TV personality, hosting shows for Food Network channel. By mid-2010, he had become the face of the network.

 42 Joy Mangano

Joy Mangano.
0
Famous As: Entrepreneur
Birthdate: February 1, 1956
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: East Meadow, New York

 43 Robert Shapiro

Robert Shapiro
1
Famous As: Lawyer
Birthdate: September 2, 1942
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Plainfield, New Jersey, United States

 44 Satya Nadella

Satya Nadella.
4
Famous As: Chairman & CEO of Microsoft
Birthdate: August 19, 1967
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Hyderabad

Satya Nadella is an Indian-American business executive, currently serving as the chief executive officer of Microsoft. Since he became CEO, the company has seen a 27% annual growth rate. Born in India to a Telugu-speaking family, Nadella serves as an inspiration to millions of Indians who nurse 'The American Dream'.

 45 Dr. Dre

Dr. Dre.
4
Famous As: Rapper, Record producer, and entrepreneur
Birthdate: February 18, 1965
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Compton, California, United States

Rapper, record producer, and audio engineer, Dr. Dre, is the founder and CEO of Aftermath Entertainment and Beats Electronics. He is credited with the popularization of  West Coast G-funk, a sub-genre of hip hop. After establishing himself in the music industry, he promoted the careers of many other rappers, including 2Pac and Snoop Dogg.

 46 Jessica Simpson

Jessica Simpson.
0
Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: July 10, 1980
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Abilene, Texas, United States

Jessica Simpson is an American singer, fashion designer, and actress. Her journey from being a teen idol to a sex symbol has been quite inspirational so far. Also a well-known philanthropist, Jessica Simpson has worked with several nonprofit organizations, such as Make-A-Wish Foundation. She has also performed at many benefit concerts.

 47 Madam C. J. Walker

Madam C. J. Walker.
2
Famous As: Entrepreneur
Birthdate: December 23, 1867
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Delta, Louisiana, United States
Died: May 25, 1919
Madam C.J. Walker is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the first female self-made American millionaire. She manufactured and promoted a cosmetic-and-hair-care line catering to black women, through the Madam C. J. Walker Manufacturing Company. She was also the richest African-American businesswoman when she died.

 48 Paul Allen

Paul Allen.
0
Famous As: Co-founder of Microsoft, Philanthropist
Birthdate: January 21, 1953
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Seattle
Died: October 15, 2018

Paul Allen was an American investor, business magnate, and philanthropist. He is credited with co-founding one of the most popular multinational technology companies in the world, Microsoft Corporation. Along with his philanthropic activities and ownership of several other companies and sporting clubs, Paul Allen had a major impact on sports, wildlife, education, arts, healthcare, community services, environmental conservation, and more.

 49 Kourtney Kardashian

Kourtney Kardashian.
3
Famous As: Model, Reality Star
Birthdate: April 18, 1979
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, U.S.

One of the most popular social media celebrities in the US, Kourtney Kardashian is best known for her appearance in the TV series Keeping Up with the Kardashians. Along with her sisters, she endorses products like prescription drugs, Coca-Cola, and waist slimming pants, for which she gets paid between $75,000 and $300,000 per post on social media.

 50 Jerry Heller

Jerry Heller.
0
Famous As: Businessman
Birthdate: October 6, 1940
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Cleveland, Ohio, United States
Died: September 2, 2016

Jerry Heller was a music manager and businessman best known for his management of West Coast rap and gangsta rap pioneers N.W.A and Eazy-E. A prominent figure in the 1960s and 1970s, he played a key role in the emergence of West Coast rap music. He was a controversial figure and was accused of financial impropriety, which he denied.