One of the biggest drawbacks of life in this digital age is that anything you post will stay online indefinitely. People can easily dig up the embarrassing photos of your youth, before you understood style and/or fully grew into your own body.
The digital age also makes it a lot easier to share embarrassing photos of days gone by, as long as someone else does the work of digging up those photos from physical archives. Which is what we did for you with these 10 celebrity photos from before they were household names. So, all you’ve got to do is enjoy and share.
#1. Elon Musk
Who comes to mind when you think of the most innovative minds in the world today? That list is bound to include South African businessman Elon Musk. The entrepreneur is the founder of Tesla, Inc. and SpaceX, and is one of the most successful and wealthiest people on the planet.
He was born in Pretoria, South Africa in 1971 to a South African father and a Canadian mother. He was frequently bullied as a youngster. Musk started on his career path early and taught himself computer programming at the age of 12. He moved to Canada to attend college at the age of 17. After earning his college degree, he started a Ph.D. program at Stanford but dropped out after only two days to focus on a career as an entrepreneur.
Musk has been the brains behind many projects throughout the years but it is his more recent work that has garnered him more attention. He launched SpaceX in 2002. His Tesla, Inc. endeavors promise to (hopefully) revolutionize the auto industry. Tesla’s designs for passenger cars as well as heavy trucks are revolutionary and aerodynamic. Time will tell if Musk’s various ideas pan out, or just remain the concepts of a very imaginative individual.
#2. Mark Zuckerberg
Although he’s been in the center of much controversy as of late, there’s no denying that Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has changed the way we live, work, and communicate. It’s actually pretty amazing that we are living through this time of rapid technological advancements, and it’s kind of hard to imagine a time when Facebook wasn’t part of our daily lives. And remember, Zuckerberg is only 33 years old…kind of makes you question your life, huh?
ANYWAY, Zuckerberg conceived of Facebook as a college student at Harvard. It was 2004 when he launched the social media site from his dorm room. He showed an interest in computer programming at a young age and showed an entrepreneurial spirit early in his life.
When he first attended Harvard, he already had a reputation as a “programming prodigy.” Since the launch of Facebook, Zuckerberg has become one of the wealthiest people on the planet. The film The Social Network, directed by David Fincher, was released in 2010 and tells a dramatized version of Zuckerberg and the creation of Facebook. Zuckerberg was portrayed by actor Jesse Eisenberg in the film. The film received 8 Academy Award nominations and won for Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Original Score, and Best Film Editing.
#3. Dwayne (The Rock) Johnson
Everywhere you look these days, you’ll see Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. Movies, TV, etc. There’s no escaping The Rock, okay? But it’s been a long road to stardom for the multi-talented performer.
Johnson bounced around during his early years and lived in New Zealand, Connecticut, Hawaii, and eventually in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania for high school. Bethlehem is football country and Johnson was a standout player for his high school squad. He was recruited by colleges and settled on the University of Miami. An injury forced him to the sidelines, but he was still a member of Miami’s 1991 championship team.
Johnson decided to pursue a wrestling career after college and made his debut in 1996. After wrestling under a few different names, he eventually settled on the moniker that would make him famous: The Rock. Johson became a huge wrestling star and his larger-than-life personality attracted fans across the world. He decided to give movies a shot and has since become a huge success on the big screen as well.
Johnson has starred in such films as The Scorpion King, the Fast and the Furious series, Hercules, and Rampage. Who knows what The Rock will do next? It seems like the big guy conquers every task he puts his mind to.
#4. Steve Jobs
The photo on the left is Mr. Steve Jobs is a middle school electronics class and the snapshot on the left is from a few years later. You gotta ask yourself is that teacher on the left had any idea that his student would transform the entire world.
Jobs grew up in Mountain View and Los Altos, California, right smack dab in the middle of what we now call Silicon Valley. Jobs loved electronics from a young age and spent most of his time tinkering with devices and befriending neighborhood engineers to talk shop. The rest, as they say, is history.
#5. Bill Clinton and Hillary Rodham
One of the most powerful couples in the world met at Yale University in 1970, as you can probably tell from the fashion statement each was rocking above. The Clintons were married on October 11, 1975. In 1980 their only child, daughter Chelsea, was born.
Bill Clinton was only 32-years-old when he was first elected Governor of the state of Arkansas in 1978. Thus began a meteoric rise in politics for both Bill and Hillary. Clinton was well-known for his charismatic personality and was seen as a rising star in the Democratic party.
In 1992, Clinton was elected President when he defeated George H.W. Bush. He was only 46-years-old when he was elected. Clinton served two terms as President, and his personal life was in the spotlight continuously as rumors of liaisons with various women captured the headlines.
After serving as First Lady for 8 years, Hillary Clinton served as a U.S. Senator for New York before acting as Barack Obama’s Secretary of State from 2009-2013. In the hotly contested 2016 Presidential election, Hillary ran against Donald Trump and was defeated. Today, both Bill and Hillary Clinton are retired from public office but continue to be in the spotlight due to their long political and personal histories.
Wow, that’s a strange connection. Famous singer and actress Rihanna was a military cadet and fellow singer Shontelle was her drill sergeant. The two singers are natives of the island of Barbados.
Rihanna was born Robin Rihanna Fenty in 1988. She’s such a huge celebrity in her native Barbados that the country has a holiday in her honor: every February 22 on the island is Rihanna Day. I imagine that is one hell of a party.
Rihanna was discovered by an American record producer when she was still a teenager and thus began her rise from obscurity to fame. Since then, the singer has become a major celebrity and has had a string of hit songs. Rihanna has said that she wants to be the “black Madonna” and that the legendary singer is her idol.
She has branched out from music in recent years to pursue an acting career as well. Rihanna has starred in the films Battleship, Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, and several TV shows, including a recurring role on the hit series Bates Motel.
She’s also a successful businesswoman, acts as the spokesperson for different products, and also released a book in 2010. In other words, Rihanna does it all.
#7. Marilyn Monroe
One of the most iconic celebrities of the 20th century, Marilyn Monroe was in many ways a tragic figure who, as the saying goes, lived fast and died young.
Monroe’s life story was a classic Hollywood tale: an unknown girl who becomes a movie star, and eventually falls prey to her own demons and dies tragically.
Monroe was born in Los Angeles in 1926 as Norma Jeane Mortenson. Her early life was marked by instability and trauma, as she was passed around among several foster families and orphanages. Like many women, she answered the call during World War II and worked at a defense factory while men were overseas fighting. She began modeling in 1945 and found success in that field. Monroe began appeared in small parts in films in the late 1940s.
It was the early 1950s that saw Marilyn Monroe become a superstar. Her good looks and fun-loving personality made her a sex symbol throughout the world. Monroe’s notable film credits include Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, The Seven Year Itch, Some Like It Hot, and How to Marry a Millionaire.
Monroe’s personal life was fraught with disappointment, and she was married and divorced three times, including to baseball star Joe DiMaggio and writer Arthur Miller. Monroe died of a drug overdose in 1962 at the age of 36.
#8. Coco Chanel
The late Coco Chanel was a successful fashion designer and her name still resonates today. Chanel was born in France in 1883 and has been credited with giving women a completely new fashion identity in the years after World War I.
Before she became renowned for her clothing, Chanel dreamed of a life on the stage as a singer. When that didn’t pan out, she fell back on her skills as a seamstress and began making clothing. A wealthy lover of Chanel’s financed her first shops and the stage was set for her to become a household name.
Her boutique shops offered clothes, hats, and other accessories. Chanel later expanded into fragrances and jewelry. Chanel once said, “Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening.”
Until the 1920s, women’s fashion was very conservative and restrictive: long dresses and clothing that was not suitable for movement or activity. Chanel changed all of that with her designs, including introducing suits and pants for women.
Chanel never married or had children. She died in Paris at the age of 87 in 1971.
#9. Steve Buscemi
You know Steve Buscemi, even if you don’t know his name. The actor and director has an unforgettable face, one that has been gracing movie and TV screens for decades.
But before Steve Buscemi appeared in dozens of films and TV shows, he started out as a 22-year-old firefighter in New York City. He was with Engine Co. 55 in Little Italy starting in 1980.
Not only that, but after 9/11 he showed up at his old firehouse and assisted with the rescue efforts, working 12-hour shifts for days on end. He refused all interviews and photo ops during that time, and later said that he was glad to have been busy so that he had time to fully process the enormity of what had just happened. Buscemi is just one of the many heroes that helped in the recovery efforts after the tragic events of September 11, 2001.
Buscemi was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1957 and grew up in a household of four boys.
Buscemi is one of the most recognizable character actors in the business. His credits include Reservoir Dogs, Fargo, The Big Lebowksi, and Ghost World. Buscemi is also a talented director and has helmed such films as Trees Lounge and Animal Factory.
#10. Princess Diana
Here we see a photo of a young Diana Spencer years before she became one of the most recognizable women in the entire world. Diana was born in 1961 and died tragically in a car accident in Paris in 1997. During her 36 years, Diana became a beloved figure as a member of the British Royal Family.
The Spencer family was one of nobility and had been associated with the British Royal Family for many years. Diana was only 20-years-old when she married Charles, Prince of Wales on July 29, 1981. She was immediately thrust into the spotlight The Prince and Princess had two songs together, William and Harry. After several years of marriage, Diana and Charles had many problems and began to drift apart. Both had affairs that later became public and became sensationalized in the media. The couple separated in 1992 and divorced in 1996.
In the meantime, Princess Diana became a spokesperson for humanitarian causes and she remained a popular figure. After her divorce from Prince Charles, Diana began dating Egyptians film producer Dodi Fayed. The two were in a car in Paris on August 31, 1997 when it crashed in a tunnel while being chased by paparazzi. Tragically, both Diana and Fayed were killed.