Famous People Who Filed for Bankruptcy

POLITICIANS

  • Abraham Lincoln – filed several times, due to business failures
  • Thomas Jefferson – filed several times, including after leaving office due to large debt
  • Ulysses S. Grant – 18th US President – filed in 1884 after leaving office
  • Daniel Webster – US Secretary of State – 1841
  • George McGovern – US Senator – filed in 1991 after his inn went out of business
  • John Connally – former Texas Governor and Treasury Secretary – filed Chapter 11 in 1987
  • William McKinley – 25th US President
  • J. Fife Symington – Governor of Arizona – filed in 1995 while still in office

FAMOUS PEOPLE

  • Walt Disney – filed after a company owing him money filed bankruptcy
  • Henry Ford – Founder of Ford Motor Company
  • William Durant – Founder of General Motors
  • Larry King – filed in 1971 and 1978
  • Donald Trump – filed several bankruptcies
  • P. T. Barnum – Founder of Barnum & Bailey Circus
  • H.J. Heinz – Founder of the H.J. Heinz Ketchup Company
  • Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens) – filed in 1894 due to failed investments
  • Oscar Wilde – acclaimed poet and author
  • William Fox – Founder of 20th Century Fox Film Corporation

CELEBRITIES

  • Burt Reynolds – chapter 11 in 1996 after owing more than 8 million in debts
  • Lorraine Bracco – filed after long custody battle
  • Mickey Rooney – 1986 filing – first bankruptcy was in 1962
  • Kim Basinger – filed due to $8 million judgment after backing out of a movie
  • Jerry Lewis – filed in the 70’s after losing stage bookings
  • Gary Coleman – 1999 bankruptcy
  • Redd Foxx –chapter 11 after owing millions to IRS
  • Mike Tyson – filed after blowing $300 million foolishly
  • Morton Downey, Jr. – filed 5 bankruptcies
  • Larry King – filed in 1971 and again in 1978
  • Gloria Vanderbilt – 1938 bankruptcy
  • John Wayne
  • Toni Braxton – filed in 1998
  • Francis Ford Coppola – filed in 1999
  • David Crosby – filed in 1985
  • Mick Fleetwood – filed in 1984
  • Dorothy Hamill – filed in 1996
  • Marvin Gaye – filed in the 70’s
  • M. C. Hammer – filed in 1996
  • Merle Haggard – filed in 1993
  • Chaka Kahn
  • Jackie Mason – filed in 1983 after bad investments
  • Ted Nugent
  • Tom Petty – filed in 1979
  • Debbie Rooney – filed in 1962
  • Anna Nicole Smith
  • Cindy Lauper – filed in 1981
  • Latoya Jackson – filed in 1995
  • Wayne Newton – filed in 1992
  • Lynne Spears – mother of Britney Spears, filed for bankruptcy in 1998 with her then husband James, just before Britney’s career took off.
  • Zsa Zsa Gabor –  actress, filed bankruptcy in 1933 after a judgment was entered against her for libel for more than $1 million dollars.
  • Dione Warwick – Grammy award winning singer, filed Chapter 7 in 2013 due to mismanagement of her business affairs and owing more than $7 million to the IRS.
  • Casey Anthony – young mother acquitted of murdering her 2 year old daughter, filed Chapter 7 listing more than $800 thousand in debt.
  • Janice Dickinson –  former supermodel and judge on America’s Next Top Model, filed bankruptcy in 2013 due to large medical bills and past due taxes.
  • Michael Vickfootball star, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in July of 2008 while he was still serving time in jail for illegal dog fighting. His plan of reorganization was approved by the court in 2009.


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