According to Dept.org, an online resource that tracks bankruptcy statistics in America, most current bankruptcies are filed by consumers--not by businesses. And although the vast majority of those filers are lower-income individuals encountering financial hardships, the rich and famous aren't exempt from taking this remedial measure. The following well-known millionaires count themselves among the bankruptcy club.
Good At Politics, Bad At Business
Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States, left behind a legacy as one of the nation's greatest politicians. But his financial track record wasn't quite so stellar. In fact, the bearded one filed for bankruptcy on two separate occasions, thanks to failed business adventures that saddled him with debt, and loans from friends and family that took him seventeen years to pay off. But Lincoln wasn't the only president to meet financial failure. Presidents Ulysses S. Grant and William McKinley, also filed for bankruptcy.
Living Like A King
TV broadcasting giant Larry King hasn't always managed his finances in a responsible manner. His propensity for making extravagant purchases caused him to burn through his cash while amassing enormous debt. But after filing for bankruptcy in 1978, King crawled out of the financial hole, reestablished his career, and rebuilt his portfolio. With a current net worth in the neighborhood of $144 million, King proved that it's possible to rebound.
Money Changes Everything
Before her seminal hit Girls Just Want to Have Fun put her on the pop music map, Cyndi Lauper wasn't having such a great time, financially. In fact, Lauper filed for bankruptcy in 1981, three years before the release of her debut studio album "She's So Unusual," which was eventually certified six times platinum. The rest is pop icon history.
Can't Touch This?
Rap star MC Hammer took the music world by storm in 1990, with his smash hit "U Can't Touch This." But lavish spending and an oversized entourage quickly eroded his newly-amassed $33 million fortune, leading him to file for bankruptcy in 1996, with debts exceeding $10 million. Hammer subsequently pared down his spending and sent his groupies packing.
The Speculative Misadventures Of Mark Twain
Samuel Clemens, better known by his pen name Mark Twain, is lauded as one of America's greatest literary treasures, thanks to classics like Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn. But his record as an investor left much to be desired. Twain filed for bankruptcy in 1894, after sinking a chunk of his personal fortune into a publishing firm and a typesetting invention. Ever the southern gentleman, Twain repaid his creditors in full just four years later. Throughout it all, Twain never lost his sense of humor about his investing misfires, famously quoting: "October: This is one of the peculiarly dangerous months to speculate in stocks. The others are July, January, September, April, November, May, March, June, December, August, and February."
On Thin Ice
After Dorothy Hamill won Olympic gold in ice-skating in 1976, her signature cutesy-bob hairstyle was adopted by young girls worldwide. It's a good thing her fans didn't likewise copy her investment practices, which forced her to file for bankruptcy in 1996, resulting in her losing ownership of the world-famous Ice Capades. Today, Hamill continues to skate professionally and has authored her memoirs entitled: A Skating Life: My Story, and On & Off The Ice.