Famous Shed Debt, Move On Successfully – You Can, Too

You have plenty of good company if you are feeling alone or depressed because of debt problems.  Here is a list of some of the famous people who have filed for bankruptcy or had financial problems.  Note that many of these people had great success and fame AFTER they shed their debts.

Olympic gold medal winning gymnast Gabby Douglas‘s mother files chapter 13 bankruptcy. Wrestler Rulon Gardner, winner of the gold medal at the Sydney Olympics, filed bankruptcy after being defrauded by a business partner.

US Olympic swimming champion Ryan Lochte’s parents home is in foreclosure.

Jose Canseco, 1988 American Baseball League MVP

NFL player Warren Sapp filed bankruptcy.  His collection of 240 pairs of Air Jordan shoes are being auctioned by his bankruptcy trustee.


Donald Trump, financier; Michael Jackson, singer; Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, composer; Kim Basinger, actress; Mike Tyson, boxer; Mark Twain, humorist; Burt Reynolds, actor;

Thomas Jefferson, patriot and president; Gary Coleman, child actor; MC Hammer, rap singer; Willie Nelson, country singer; Lorraine Bracco, “The Soprano’s” actress; Charles Goodyear, inventor of vulcanized rubber; PT Barnum, circus promoter; L. Frank Baum, author of “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz”; Mathew Brady, Civil War photographer;

Oscar Wilde, playwright; Jerry Lee Lewis, rock singer; Rembrandt, painter; Henry Heinz, ketchup magnate; Milton Hershey, chocolate magnate; Henry Ford, auto magnate; Johnny Unitas, football player; Wayne Newton, entertainer; Mickey Rooney, actor; Debbie Reynolds, actress;

John Connally, former Texas governor ; Walt Disney, creator of Mickey Mouse; Mick Fleetwood, rock singer; Merle Haggard, country singer; Ulysses S. Grant, president and Civil War general ; Dorothy Hamill, figure skater; Larry King, talk show host; Bowie Kuhn, former baseball commissioner; Stan Lee, comic book creator of “Spider Man”.

Other famous debtors in bankruptcy or having financial problems:

Lorrie Morgan, country singer; Robert Stephan, former Kansas Attorney General; Lehman Brothers Holdings, Inc., largest U.S. bankruptcy; Tribune Company, owner of Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Tribune & other newspapers, and Chicago Cubs; Enron; Interstate Bakeries Corp., maker of Wonderbread and  Hostess Twinkies; KB Toys; General Motors; Ford; Chrysler; Linens ‘N Things;

Ed McMahon, Tonight Show host; Michael Vick, NFL football player; Dreir, LLC, law firm; Dave Ramsey, author of Total Money Makeover, radio/TV personality; Poloroid Corp.; numerous mortgage lenders; Archway Cookies; Circuit City, electronics retail stores;

Parent Co., the owner of  etoys.com; Bill Blass, Ltd., fashion manufacturer; Recycled Paper Greetings, Inc., 3rd largest U.S. greeting card maker; Flying J travel plazas; LyondellBasell Industries, chemical maker; Goody’s Family Clothing Inc., retail clothing chain; Waterford Wedgwood PLC, china and crystal; Creative Memories, scrapbooking; Gottschalks department stores; Merisant Worldwide Inc., Equal artificial sweetener maker;

Nortel Networks, Canadian telephone company; Minneapolis Star Tribune newspaper; Hartmarx Corp., clothier to U.S. President Barack Obama; Brighter Minds Media World of Goo computer puzzle publisher; Spectrum Brands, Inc., makers of  Rayovac batteries, Remington shavers;

S&K Famous Brands men’s clothing; Crescent Oil Company, Inc., Independence, KS, oil supplier; Muzak Holdings, LLC, maker of elevator music; Smurfit-Stone Container Corp., St. Joseph, MO, box manufacturer; My Rich Uncle, student loan lender; and Charter Communications, cable and internet.

Peanut Corp. of America, salmonella in peanut butter; Trump Entertainment Resorts, Inc., Atlantic City casinos; Forward Foods LLC, Detour bars maker; Saab, Swedish auto maker; Philadelphia Newspapers, Inc., publisher of Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News newspapers; Ritz Camera Centers Inc.; Blockbuster, video rentals; Changing Worlds Technology, Inc., Carthage, MO, biofuels plant; Mark Shale men’s clothier; Six Flags amusement parks.

MC Hammer musician; Extended Stay Hotels, LLC; Hollywood Motion Picture and Television Museum; Eddie Bauer; Crabtree and Evelyn, Ltd., soap and toiletry retailer; Michael Jackson‘s parents, Joe and Katherine Jackson;

Photo Credit: Attribution Some rights reserved by nigelhowe

About Jill Michaux

Jill Michaux is a Kansas bankruptcy attorney with Neis Michaux Law Office. She and her partner, Mark Neis, are Topeka's only consumer bankruptcy law specialists. They are board certified by the American Board of Certification.

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