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Many stars did not grow up surrounded by the fame and wealth they now experience today. These celebrities claim that their difficult upbringings helped shape who they are by teaching them ambition and perseverance. Some stars suffered through abuse, poverty, even homelessness but went on to become some of the most popular entertainers in the world. Here’s a list of 11 stars who had tough childhoods, but that didn’t stop them from becoming some of the successful A-listers in Hollywood.

1. Oprah Winfrey

Oprah has one of the most successful rags to riches stories on our list. Known as the “Queen of All Media”, Oprah has been ranked the richest African-American of the 20th century and the greatest black philanthropist in American history. Oprah explained that her childhood was filled with abuse. She was born to teenage parents in Mississippi, was constantly molested by male relatives and fell victim to alcohol and drug abuse at a young age. Eventually, Oprah moved away to live with her father in Tennessee. It’s here that she attended Tennessee State University and got her start in communications which lead her to become North America’s only black billionaire. Today, Oprah has an estimated net worth of $3 billion.

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