12 Successful Celebs You Didn't Know Were Adopted

It's a well-known fact, or at least one we seem to widely accept: a person's upbringing will determine his or her success. If you look into the portrait of many notorious criminals and serial killers,

It's a well-known fact, or at least one we seem to widely accept: a person's upbringing will determine his or her success. If you look into the portrait of many notorious criminals and serial killers, you can easily point out how inappropriate their childhood was, how marked by violence and fear their development was. Not all parents are suitable for raising their children.

But it's unfair to always blame the parents. Socio-economically disadvantage areas can be to blame. Numerous sociology studies have demonstrated how poverty can limit one's success. Whether it's being enrolled in a "tough" school or hanging around a bad crowd, being poor is nearly a death sentence if you want to become a somebody when you grow up.

Happily, some of the older people in this predicament realize they cannot rise to the challenge of raising a child, so they put them up for adoption, or entrust their care to someone they know they trust will take good care of their kid. With better education and financial possibilities, these children sometimes rise to become great people.

And by great people, I mean politicians, human rights activists and artists of all sorts. So if you were adopted or know someone who was, don't be scared! You might rise up to be the next president or prime minister of your country! From John Hancock to Sarah McLachlan, here are 12 celebs you didn't know were adopted and found success.

12 Marilyn Monroe


Marilyn Monroe, born Norma Jeane Mortenson, was known for being a sex symbol back in the 1950s, when the first movement of sexual liberation was effervescent. She was also known for her affair with president John F. Kennedy.

11 Bill Clinton

William Jefferson Clinton (born William Jefferson Blythe III) was the 42nd president of the United States of America, and known for having the highest approval rating since World War II. In 1998, he had to go before a Grand Jury due to his affair with Monica Lewinsky, a White House employee.

10 John Lennon


John Winston Lennon was an English singer and songwriter who became famous worldwide because he co-founded the band The Beatles, which is the most commercially successful band in the history of popular music.

9 Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs will forever be remembered as an innovator. The American businessman was the chief executive officer (CEO) of Apple Inc. as well as the CEO for Pixar Animation Studios. Jobs is widely recognized as a pioneer of the microcomputer revolution of the 1970s because of his work with Apple.

8 Nicole Richie

Born Nicole Camille Escovedo, Nicole Camille Richie is known for being an American fashion designer, an author, an actress and a television personality. Richie found success when she starred in the Fox reality television series, The Simple Life, alongside Paris Hilton, a childhood friend.

7 Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela was a South African anti-apartheid revolutionary, a politician, and a philanthropist who served as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999. He was also the country's first black president, as well the first to be elected in true democratic election. Initially committed to non-violent protest, in 1961, he led a sabotage campaign against the apartheid government. In 1962, he was arrested and sentenced to life in prision following the Rivonia Trial. He served 27 years in prison.

6 Faith Hill

Born Audrey Faith Perry, Faith Hill is an American country pop singer and actress. Having sold more than 40 million records worldwide, Faith Hill is one of the most successful country artists of all time.

5 Jamie Foxx

Jamie Foxx is an American actor, singer, comedian, writer, and producer. He won a Grammy Award for producing three albums (Unpredictable in 2005, Intuition in 2008 and Best Night of My Life in2010) which scored high rankings on the US Billboard 200.

4 Sarah McLachlan

Sarah Ann McLachlan is a musician, singer, songwriter, and pianist from the beautiful country of Canada. She is well known for her emotional ballads such as "I Will Remember You". In 2009, she had sold over 40 million albums worldwide. That, in and of itself, is something most people probably don't know about her.

3 Edgar Allan Poe


Edgar Allan Poe was an American author, poet, editor, and literary critic, best known for his tales of mystery. Poe, one of the first American authors of the short story format, is considered the inventor of the detective fiction literature.

2 Priscilla Presley


Priscilla Ann Presley (born Beaulieu) is an American actress and businesswoman who was once married to legendary singer Elvis Presley. Following his sudden death, Priscilla co-founded Elvis Presley Enterprises (EPE), where she turned Graceland into a top tourist attraction.

1 John Hancock


John Hancock was a highly-regarded merchant, smuggler, statesman, and famous Patriot of the American Revolution, before becoming the president of the Second Continental Congress. Hancock was one of the leaders during the crisis that led to the American Revolutionary War in 1775. He was the first to sign the Declaration of Independence.

Hancock was sent to live with his uncle Thomas Hancock and his wife after his father died in 1744. Thomas Hancock's highly successful business made him one of Boston's richest residents. The couple, who did not have any biological children, became the dominant influence on John's life. When Thomas passed away, John inherited his fortune, which made him one of the richest men of the Thirteen Colonies.


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12 Successful Celebs You Didn't Know Were Adopted