Famous Bankruptcies

In my blog entitled Our Bankrupt Presidents, I mentioned four U.S. Presidents whose faces grace our money and have all declared at some point that they were bankrupt.  It’s not just our U.S. Presidents who have had money troubles.  Esteemed authors, revered movie directors, and famous celebrities, have all declared that they were bankrupt.  I’m referring to people whose books you’ve read, whose movies you’ve watched, people who you see in your favorite movies or TV shows, and athletes whose teams you may be a fan of.

Famous People Who Declared That They or Their Business Was Bankrupt

There are so many famous bankruptcies that this blog can only give you a small glimpse of the many famous people who have declared that they were bankruptcy, due to the customarily short commentary associated with a blog post. Here are just a few examples, starting from the 1800s and going through the present:


Mark Twain was a renown author whose books are usually mandatory reading in school.  Twain is perhaps most famous for writing the great American novel, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.  Twain was also a friend to presidents and European royalty; he had good connections.  Despite all of his opportunities and good fortunes, Twain also fell victim to money troubles and declared that he was bankrupt in 1893.


Henry Ford was the founder of the automobile company Ford.  He and his company, Ford, radically changed the way we get around from place to place by starting to mass produce automobiles, including the Ford “Model T.”  Despite his huge success and revolutionizing transportation in America, Ford also had money troubles and Ford declared that his company was bankrupt in 1901.


Walt Disney was a famous American film screenwriter, director, producer, and founder of The Walt Disney Company (which owns Disneyland).  Disney was perhaps one of the most innovative people in the field of character animation and created fictional characters we all grew up with, such as Mickey Mouse.  Despite his huge success on many different levels, Disney had money troubles too and declared that his studio was bankrupt in 1923.


Francis Ford Coppola is one of the greatest screenwriters and movie directors of all time.  He is perhaps most famous for creating The Godfather trilogy (The Godfather, The Godfather II, and The Godfather III), starring, in different parts, such famous actors as Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, and Andy Garcia, among many other famous actors.  Coppola also built the Coppola winery in Napa Valley, which he purchased with the help of the proceeds from his The Godfather trilogy sales.  Despite his huge successes, Coppola too had money troubles and had to file bankruptcy for his business in the 1980s and 1990s.


Willie Nelson is an American pop culture Icon.  He is a singer-songwriter, author, and poet.  If you listen to Country music, then you know Willie Nelson.  Despite making millions from album sales and concerts, Nelson ran into money troubles, including a large tax debt, and had to file bankruptcy to obtain debt relief in the 1990s.


And perhaps the most interesting of all is Donald Trump, famous billionaire, and more recently famous for The Apprentice and telling contestants “you’re fired.”  Trump is a great example showing that no matter how financially successful you are, you or your business may still run into money troubles and need the assistance of the federal bankruptcy laws.  One of the things that we all know Donald for, in addition to his fame and success, is that he has experienced money troubles for his business and as a result has filed bankruptcy for his business more than once!   Donald is no doubt a smart businessman.  Donald knew when his business needed debt relief and he utilized the protection of the bankruptcy court when appropriate.  Today, Trump is doing well and enjoys insane financially success and well being, proving in a convincing fashion that there is life after bankruptcy.


The people mentioned on this blog are all highly regarded today.  They knew when it was time for a fresh start.  How is this information useful to you?  Well, you need to ask yourself, “do I need debt relief and a fresh start?”  If you need a San Diego debt relief and a fresh start, remember that you are NOT alone… you're in the company of some very interesting people!