Famous People You Didn’t Know Were Orphans

Being orphaned is the last thing one would want. However, life can sometimes be cruel and may deprive children of their parents early in their life. While some lose their way after losing their parents, some put their tragedy behind them and go on to achieve success. Here is a list of those people who became famous despite being orphaned at an early age.

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Birthday: 01 June 1926
Born In: Los Angeles
Died On: 05 August 1962
Famous As: Actress

Marilyn Monroe's father abandoned her after his divorce from her mother. After her mother was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and was institutionalized, Monroe became a ward of the state. She was brought up at different homes of people known to her.


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Birthday: 18 July 1918
Born In: Mvezo
Died On: 05 December 2013
Famous As: Anti-Apartheid Activist, President of ANC and Former President of South Africa

The deceased President of South Africa and one of the leaders of the anti-apartheid movement, Nelson Mandela, was adopted by his father's friend at the age of 9 after his father died.


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Birthday: 03 January 1892
Born In: Bloemfontein, South Africa
Died On: 02 September 1973
Famous As: Writer

J.R.R. Tolkien lost his mother in 1904 after his father had passed away a few years ago. He was brought up by a catholic priest.


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Birthday: 24 February 1955
Born In: San Francisco
Died On: 05 October 2011
Famous As: Co-founder of Apple
Steve Jobs' biological parents never married as his biological mother Joanne Carole Schieble's family did not approve of her relationship with his biological father Abdulfattah John Jandali, an Arab Muslim. After giving birth to Jobs, Schieble put him up for adoption. Subsequently, he was adopted by Clara and Paul Jobs.

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Birthday: 23 September 1930
Born In: Albany, Georgia, United States
Died On: 10 June 2004
Famous As: Singer-songwriter

Ray Charles' father abandoned his family when Ray was a toddler. At the age of 14, he lost his mother, and he went and stayed with his mom's friend Charles Wayne Powell.