5 famous people who grew up on the streets

Many of us have fond memories of our childhood; of care-free days full of curiosity and free of worry. However, millions of kids around the world do not get to live this childhood. For them adulthood comes prematurely as they are forced to survive the hardship of living on the streets. Fortunately adversity has seldom hindered talented people from rising to success.  Read and be inspired by the stories of these 5 famous people who spent their childhood on the streets.

Charlie Chaplin

'America, I am coming to conquer you' … Charlie Chaplin in The Gold Rush (1925).

Perhaps the most recognized actor of the silent ear, Charlie Chapin had an extremely tough childhood. His father was alcoholic and died while he was still 8. Later his mother was a committed to a mental asylum and this left Chaplin to fend for himself on the streets. However poverty and homelessness did not hold back the young Chaplin from realizing his potential in acting and you know the rest of the story.

Harry Houdini 


The legendary magician and escape artist ,Harry Houdini, ran away from home at the age of 12 and begged on the streets for food . Even though he did eventually reunite with this father after a few years, poverty ensured that he had to go out in the streets to make ends meet.

Colonel Sanders


The Man behind the successful fast-food chain KFC and  the genocide of millions of innocent chickens  had a very difficult childhood. His father died while he was five and by age 10, he decided to ran away from his home due to the abuse of his stepfather. He lived on the streets and did many odd jobs before finally coming up with his famous recipe and starting his business.

Mario Macilau


A prominent photojournalist in his country, Mario grew up on the streets of Maputo. At age 14 he got his hand on a used camera and taught himself to use it. Today his works are exhibited all over the world.

Jim Carry

jim manjo

Jim Carry is one of the richest Hollywood actors known for his fun nature and generous attitude. However his teens were anything but fun and generous.  After his father lost his job, Jim worked as a janitor after school to make his ends meet but eventually, like the rest of his family, deseeded the hostile environment of the factory and was left homeless. He and his family lived without a proper shelter but eventually he took a bold step to move to Los Angeles where he landed big.


In Pakistan, around 1.5 million children live without a home and without a childhood. In these children could be the next Charlie Chaplin or Col. Sanders.  Education can serve as a powerful tool to get people out of poverty and allow them to discover themselves. We as responsible citizens should play our part in helping educate children’s living on the streets.