Richard Desmond
Net worth: $2 billion

After his parents divorced, Desmond lived with his mother in a garage apartment. Quit school at age 14 to become a drummer and worked in a coat-check room to help pay the bills.

His first job was for Thomson Newspapers, working in classified advertisements. He moved on to another company and by the age of 21 he owned two record shops. He acquired an interest in publishing and in 1974 published a magazine called International Musician and Recording World.

Started his first magazine at age 22 and now owns dozens of titles, including celebrity rag OK!.