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Famous People Who’ve Filed For Bankruptcy

Most people think that bankruptcy is just about the worst thing that can happen to them. It is seen as complete failure for which there is no recovery. But the truth is just the opposite. The bankruptcy process is literally designed to provide an avenue of recovery not just for lenders, but for the debtor as well. This potential for recovery is something that is witnessed by lenders, debtors, and lawyers every single day, but rarely seen by the public at large except in high profile bankruptcy cases involving famous people or celebrities. In fact, it is these high profile cases that best prove that bankruptcy isn’t only something that you can recover from, but is something that can propel you to a much better life situation. Consider the following examples.

Famous Bankruptcy Turnarounds

Stan Lee

Famous as one of the founding writers and artists for Marvel comics, Stan Lee is a living legend in the comic book community. But, in 1998 he attempted to make a company called Stan Lee Media, in order to make comic book characters independent of Marvel. The company lasted two years before it, and Stan Lee, were required to file for bankruptcy protection. Despite that failure, his star has only risen, especially due to the popularity of Marvel comic book movies in the past few years. His current net worth is estimated at roughly $50 million.

Donald Trump

Donald Trump is pretty much the ultimate example of an individual who isn’t afraid of bankruptcy. He has had four separate casinos file for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. In fact, Donald Trump is on record as seeing bankruptcy protection as nothing more than a negotiating technique. His business ethics may be a little sour, but he is still one of the wealthiest people in the country and currently also one of the most politically powerful.

Walt Disney

The Walt Disney company was not the first animation company that Walt Disney owned and operated. The first company was called Laugh-o-Gram and lasted for all of two years before declaring bankruptcy in 1923. Rather than call it quits, Walt moved to Hollywood and started another animation company that we all know and love. Today, Walt Disney Company is worth close to $100 billion.

Henry Ford

The Ford Motor Company is one of the most famous names in the auto industry. It is also the one U.S. car company that didn’t require a federal bailout in 2008. But a little over 100 years ago, Henry Ford himself required a bailout when he filed for bankruptcy in 1901. After that, he rearranged his finances and automobile crafting shop, created Ford Motor Company, and the rest is history.

A President Filed For Bankruptcy

Abraham Lincoln

Arguably the most famous American to ever to declare bankruptcy is the 16th President of the United States. Before he started in politics, he ran a business that met with hard times. Bankruptcy hit him hard and he spent nearly 17 years paying back his debts, but eventually pulled through, and is now commonly considered one of the greatest Presidents this country has ever had.

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