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Michael Dell, Dell

Dell, Inc. is a Texas-based information technology company named after its founder and CEO, Michael Dell. In 2011 Forbes magazine estimated his net worth at almost $15 billion, making him one of the world’s richest people. His company is ranked at number 41 on the Fortune 500 list. Dell was founded in 1984 in Austin, Texas.

Michael Dell started working at age 12, taking a dishwashing job at a Chinese restaurant for $2.30 an hour. He was promoted to bus boy but before he could further ascend the power structure, he was lured away by a Mexican restaurant. He eventually left the restaurant industry entirely and took a job at a rare stamp and coin store, then sold newspaper subscriptions by phone, all by the time he was 16 years old.

Photo: Getty Images