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18 Radically Successful People Who Lived With Their Parents

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Bloomberg Businessweek is taking some heat for an ad campaign mocking lazy millennials who still live with their parents. Parents can send their kids BBW e-cards with messages like, "You were supposed to make us rich, but we'll settle for just not making us poor" and "We can't wait for your terrible 20s to be over." But these debt-ridden graduates can look to history for more hopeful advice. Here are some notable people who launched successful careers, products, and companies while living with mom and dad.

1. Steve Jobs, Apple Computer Co-Founder

Steve Jobs co-founded Apple Computer and manufactured the original Apple I computer in his parents’ garage. Jobs was living with his folks in 1975 after a brief stint at Reed College and a trip to India the year prior. Jobs ran his computer business out of that garage for more than a year; in 1977 he moved to a ranch house in Cupertino which he dubbed "Rancho Suburbia" and got a proper office space.

Trivia note: Jobs was adopted. His adoptive father taught him woodworking in that garage, and instilled values of craftsmanship. In the Steve Jobs biography, this passage illustrates Jobs’s pride in the craftsmanship of a well-built fence:

Fifty years later the fence still surrounds the back and side yards of the house in Mountain View. As Jobs showed it off to me, he caressed the stockade panels and recalled a lesson that his father implanted deeply in him. It was important, his father said, to craft the backs of cabinets and fences properly, even though they were hidden. ... In an interview a few years later, after the Macintosh came out, Jobs again reiterated that lesson from his father: "When you're a carpenter making a beautiful chest of drawers, you're not going to use a piece of plywood on the back, even though it faces the wall and nobody will ever see it. You'll know it's there, so you're going to use a beautiful piece of wood in the back. For you to sleep well at night, the aesthetic, the quality, has to be carried all the way through."

2. Alexander Graham Bell

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Yep, the father of the telephone lived with his parents until just before his most famous invention. His mother home-schooled him early on, and his first invention was a wheat dehusking machine, assembled at the age of 12. Around that time, Bell's mother began going deaf, leading him to study early forms of sign language and the principles of acoustics. Bell lived with his parents in various parts of Scotland and England, though he left home several times to study and other times to teach. At age 23, he and his parents moved from London to Canada. Bell finally "moved out" in 1872, at the age of 25, when he headed to Boston to work in a school for the deaf. He promptly fell in love with one of his students, Mabel Hubbard (who was just 15 years old at the time), and proceeded to patent the telephone in 1875, at the age of 28. Two years later, Bell and Hubbard were married, and Bell's wedding present to her was a massive stock grant in the brand new Bell Telephone Company.

3. Rafael Nadal, Tennis Champion

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Rafael “Rafa” Nadal is a Spanish tennis player who has won eleven Grand Slam singles titles and is currently ranked No. 4 in the world. Nadal’s uncle Toni trained Rafa from an early age, and to this day Rafa lives in Manacor, Mallorca with his family. In his autobiography, he wrote, “My family had always been the holy, untouchable core of my life, my center of stability and a living album of my wonderful childhood memories.”

4. Kathy Griffin, Comedian

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Kathy Griffin’s comedic brand relies largely on her jokingly self-declared place on the Hollywood “D-List,” a spot she earned by having a really hard time breaking into the business and getting decent roles. Griffin is the youngest of five kids, and lived with her parents until she was 28. USA Today reported: “After high school, Griffin moved from the Chicago suburbs to Los Angeles with her parents. For the next decade, the three shared a two-bedroom apartment; Griffin worked as a temp and at mostly dead-end jobs while hustling for auditions.” Her first credited speaking role was as a guest star on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, the premise of which involved Will Smith living with his aunt and uncle rather than his parents.

5. Orin Seybert, Founder of Peninsula Airways

Alaskan readers will recognize PenAir as Alaska’s largest regional air carrier, including charter service in Alaska, Canada, and the Lower 48. But its founder, Orin Seybert, learned to fly in high school while living with his grandparents. He earned his commercial pilot’s license at 18 and started the airline at 19 while living with his parents. Today a dozen family members work for PenAir, including several of Seybert’s grandchildren. When asked about his inspiration for becoming a pilot, Seybert said, "Part of my reasoning for having my own airplane was that in my village there were no girls my age. I knew I needed to get out and see who else was out there, so I went all over the central Peninsula and discovered all kinds of great adventures."

6. Grigori Perelman, Mathematician

Wikimedia Commons / George M. Bergman

Grigori Yakovlevich Perelman is a Russian mathematician best known for solving the Poincaré Conjecture in 2003 (the problem had remained unsolved for 99 years before Perelman came along). Perelman was awarded the Fields Medal for his work, but he declined the award (including the million dollars it came with) and refused to appear in public. From the door of the St. Petersburg apartment he shares with his mother Lubov (also a mathematician), Perelman told a reporter, “I don’t want to be on display like an animal in a zoo.” By all accounts, he’s still crashing with his mom at age 46.

7. Yvon Chouinard, Patagonia Founder

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In 1953, Yvon Chouinard became a climber at the age of 14. He was a member of the Southern California Falconry Club, which involved climbing up and rappelling down cliff faces to reach falcon aeries. At the time, the typical practice was to place soft iron pitons (spikes) into the cliff face and then leave them there  but Chouinard had a better idea. By the age of 18, he had bought a coal-fired forge and an anvil, and taught himself the art of blacksmithing. He set up shop in his parents’ Burbank backyard, making reusable chrome-molybdenum pitons, which he sold for $1.50 each. As the years wore on (and he moved the operation out of his parents’ place), Chouinard expanded into more gear and clothing for climbers, and thus Patagonia was born.

8, 9, 10. The Brontë Sisters, Authors

Wikimedia Commons / Painting By Branwell Brontë

Anne, Emily, and Charlotte Brontë were successful women writers in an era when writing literature was perceived as an unseemly pursuit for ladies  but one that was loosely encouraged by their father Patrick, who was an Anglican priest and an author himself. Of the six children born in the family, two girls died in childhood, the remaining three went on to literary success, and the sole boy, Patrick Branwell, went on to become a painter and writer. The three sisters initially published work under the male pseudonyms Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell. After Charlotte’s novel Jane Eyre became popular (written by “Currer Bell”), she revealed her true identity; Emily went on to write Wuthering Heights and Anne wrote Agnes Grey, among other works. All of the Brontë children died tragically young: Anne died at age 29, Emily at 30, Patrick at 31, and Charlotte at 38.

11. Michael Kittredge, Yankee Candle Company Founder

Michael Kittredge was just 17 years old when he started making candles in his parents’ garage. His first candle was a Christmas present for his mother, and he made it by melting down his old crayons. When a neighbor offered to buy that candle, Kittredge spotted a business opportunity and began making more candles, founding the Yankee Candle Company just before Christmas, 1969. By 1972 he moved the operation into a former paper mill in Holyoke, Massachusetts  and the rest is scented candle history.

12. Jennifer Lawrence, Academy Award Winning Actress

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Jennifer Lawrence hails from Louisville, Kentucky. At age 14, Lawrence convinced her parents to bring her to New York to audition for acting roles. The reaction from talent agents was positive, but Lawrence’s mother offered this deal: Jennifer could get into acting only after she graduated from high school. So Lawrence blasted through high school, graduating two years early with a 3.9 GPA.

Lawrence went on to act in commercials, TV shows, and eventually films including Winter’s Bone, The Hunger Games, and Silver Linings Playbook (that last one garnered her an Oscar). Lawrence’s family moved with her to Los Angeles in 2007, though her official website still lists a Louisville PO Box for fan mail.

13. Miles Davis, Jazz Trumpeter

Wikimedia Commons / Photo By Tom Palumbo

Miles Davis owes a lot to his father, Miles Henry Davis. The elder Davis gave his son a trumpet when Davis was just 13, and arranged for lessons with a local musician. The choice of the trumpet was against his wife’s wishes  Davis’s mother was a blues pianist and wanted her son to study the piano. But Davis took to his trumpet quickly, becoming a professional performer at the age of 16. When Davis was just 18, he played with Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker for several weeks while the Billy Eckstine band was performing in the area. Davis went to Juilliard briefly, but (with his father’s permission) dropped out and played professionally instead. During Davis’s “Blue Period” in 1954, he returned to his father’s house in St. Louis and locked himself in his room in order to kick his heroin habit. Now that’s a supportive dad. The next year Davis formed his “first great quintet” featuring John Coltrane, Red Garland, Paul Chambers, and Philly Joe Jones.

14. Lou Gehrig, Baseball Legend

Wikimedia Commons / University Archives — Columbiana Library

Lou Gehrig is perhaps best known today for his career-ending “Lou Gehrig’s Disease,” technically called amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or ALS (the same disease now afflicts Stephen Hawking, among others). But in the 15 seasons between 1925 and 1939, Gehrig played in 2130 consecutive baseball games  a record that stood until Cal Ripken, Jr. broke it in 1995. But aside from his baseball career, Gehrig lived at home with his mother until the age of 30. He only moved out after marrying Eleanor Twitchell in 1933, just eight years before his death. (The New York Times has a whole story about Gehrig's mom and how she kept vetoing his prospective romantic partners....)

15. Reggie Aggarwal, CEO of Cvent

Reggie Aggarwal founded Cvent in 1999 to help schedule events. But in 2000, the dot-com bubble burst, leaving him in a desperate financial position. To avoid bankruptcy, at age 33, Aggarwal swallowed his pride and moved in with his parents, drew no salary for two years, and saved the business. In 2011, Cvent received $136 million in venture capital. Although he moved out of his parents’ house after the business turned around, Aggarwal lives in a modest two-bedroom condo with his wife and child. “We still remember the bad times, and we're always going to think like a startup, which is don't get arrogant, treasure your customers, treasure your employees, and be frugal,” he told Business Insider.

16. Justin Halpern, Author of Sh*t My Dad Says

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At age 28, Justin Halpern was dumped by his girlfriend and moved in with his dad, who was then 73. Halpern had long noted his father’s colorful way with words, but the close quarters provided even more material, leading Halpern to start the “Sh*t My Dad Says” Twitter account. That Twitter account led to a book and even a TV show starring William Shatner. A sample Dad-ism:

"The worst thing you can be is a liar. ...Okay, fine, yes, the worst thing you can be is a Nazi, but then number two is liar. Nazi one, liar two."

Halpern’s Amazon biography says he now “Splits his time between Los Angeles and his parents’ home in San Diego.” His Twitter account is still going strong, with over 3 million followers.

17. Andrew Gower, Creator of RuneScape

British game developer Andrew Gower made his biggest hit, RuneScape, in his childhood bedroom at his parents’ house in Nottingham. Gower was an undergraduate student at Cambridge, still living at home, when he created the massively successful MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game). He later sold his stake in RuneScape and in 2009 his wealth was estimated at £99 million; he turned 31 that year.

18. Mangesh Hattikudur, mental_floss Co-Founder and Editor-in-Chief

Mangesh Hattikudur lived with his parents while establishing mental_floss. He wrote, “After working two part-time jobs (waiting tables and working as a video store clerk) then coming home at 10 or 11 to work on mental_floss, I needed to focus more on the floss. In 2001 and 2002, people weren't that eager to invest in a magazine from two college grads who had no idea what they were doing. Being able to crash with my parents helped. If they hadn't taken me in (again) I'd have become a mediocre lawyer instead of a mediocre editor!” Things worked out OK for Mangesh. And without his generous parents, you wouldn’t be reading this article right now.

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10 Regional Twists on Trick-or-Treating
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Walk around any given American neighborhood on the night of October 31, and you’ll likely hear choruses of "trick-or-treat" chiming through the area. The sing-songy phrase is synonymous with Halloween in some parts of the world, but it's not the only way kids get sweets from their neighbors this time of year. From the Philippines to the American Midwest, here are some regional door-to-door traditions you may not have heard of.

1. PANGANGALULUWA // THE PHILIPPINES

Rice cakes wrapped in leaves.
Suman

The earliest form of trick-or-treating on Halloween can be traced back to Europe in the Middle Ages. Kids would don costumes and go door-to-door offering prayers for dead relatives in exchange for snacks called "soul cakes." When the cake was eaten, tradition held that a soul was ferried from purgatory into heaven. Souling has disappeared from Ireland and the UK, but a version of it lives on halfway across the world in the Philippines. During All Saints Day on November 1, Filipino children taking part in Pangangaluluwa will visit local houses and sing hymns for alms. The songs often relate to souls in purgatory, and carolers will play the part of the souls by asking for prayers. Kids are sometimes given rice cakes called suman, a callback to the soul cakes from centuries past.

2. PÃO-POR-DEUS // PORTUGAL

Raw dough.
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Instead of trick-or-treating, kids in Portugal go door-to-door saying pão-por-deus ("bread for god") in exchange for goodies on All Saints Day. Some homeowners give out money or candy, while others offer actual baked goods.

3. HALLOWEEN APPLES // WESTERN CANADA

Kids trick-or-treating.
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If they're not calling out "trick-or-treat" on their neighbors’ doorsteps on Halloween night, you may hear children in western Canada saying "Halloween apples!" The phrase is left over from a time when apples were a common Halloween treat and giving out loose items on the holiday wasn't considered taboo.

4. ST. MARTIN'S DAY // THE NETHERLANDS

The Dutch wait several days after Halloween to do their own take on trick-or-treating. On the night of November 11, St. Martin's Day, children in the Netherlands take to the streets with their homemade lanterns in hand. These lanterns were traditionally carved from beets or turnips, but today they’re most commonly made from paper. And the kids who partake don’t get away with shouting a few words at each home they visit—they’re expected to sing songs to receive their sugary rewards.

5. A PENNY FOR THE GUY // THE UK

Guy Fawkes Night celebration.

Peter Trimming, Wikimedia Commons // CC BY-SA 2.0

Guy Fawkes Night is seen by some as the English Protestants’ answer to the Catholic holidays associated with Halloween, so it makes sense that it has its own spin on trick-or-treating. November 5 marks the day of Guy Fawkes’s failed assassination attempt on King James as part of the Gunpowder Plot. To celebrate the occasion, children will tour the neighborhood asking for "a penny for the guy." Sometimes they’ll carry pictures of the would-be-assassin which are burned in the bonfires lit later at night.

6. TRICKS FOR TREATS // ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI

Kids knocking on a door in costume.
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If kids in the St. Louis area hope to go home with a full bag of candy on Halloween, they must be willing to tickle some funny bones. Saying "tricks-for-treats" followed by a joke replaces the classic trick-or-treat mantra in this Midwestern city. There’s no criteria for the quality or the subject of the joke, but spooky material (What’s a skeleton’s favorite instrument? The trombone!) earns brownie points.

7. ME DA PARA MI CALAVERITA // MEXICO

Sugar skulls with decoration.
iStock

While Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, is completely separate from Halloween, the two holidays share a few things in common. Mexicans celebrate the day by dressing up, eating sweet treats, and in some parts of the country, going house-to-house. Children knocking on doors will say "me da para mi calaverita" or "give me money for my little skull," a reference to the decorated sugar skulls sold in markets at this time of year.

8. HALLOWEEN! // QUEBEC, CANADA

Kids dressed up for Halloween.
iStock

Trick-or-treaters like to keep things simple in the Canadian province of Quebec. In place of the alliterative exclamation, they shout “Halloween!” at each home they visit. Adults local to the area might remember saying "la charité s’il-vous-plaît "(French for “charity, please”) when going door-to-door on Halloween, but this saying has largely fallen out of fashion.

9. SWEET OR SOUR // GERMANY

Little girl trick-or-treating.
iStock

Halloween is only just beginning to gain popularity in Germany. Where it is celebrated, the holiday looks a lot like it does in America, but Germans have managed to inject some local character into their version of trick-or-treat. In exchange for candy, kids sometimes sing out "süß oder saures"—or "sweet and sour" in English.

10. TRIQUI, TRIQUI HALLOWEEN // COLOMBIA

Kids dressed up for Halloween.
Rubí Flórez, Flickr // CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Kids in Colombia anticipate dressing up and prowling the streets on Halloween just as much as kids do in the States. There are a few significant variations on the annual tradition: Instead of visiting private residencies, they're more likely to ask for candy from store owners and the security guards of apartment buildings. And instead of saying trick-or-treat, they recite this Spanish rhyme:

Triqui triqui Halloween
Quiero dulces para mí
Si no hay dulces para mí
Se le crece la naríz

In short, it means that if the grownups don't give the kids the candy they're asking for, their noses will grow. Tricky, tricky indeed

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11 Thrilling Facts About Dial M for Murder
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In 1953 Alfred Hitchcock was looking for a new project after a film he’d been developing fell through. Sensing a need to go back to his safe space of murderous thrillers, he opted to adapt a stage play that had already proved to be a hit on British television. Though he had no particular attachment to the project, Dial M for Murder would ultimately become one of Hitchcock’s best-known—and best-loved—classics.

From the film’s use of 3D to the debut of Grace Kelly in Hitchcock’s filmography to a pivotal murder sequence that made the director lose weight from stress, here are 11 facts about Dial M for Murder.

1. IT’S BASED ON A STAGE PLAY.

Dial M for Murder is, in terms of locations and number of characters, a relatively sparse film that barely leaves its primary set. This is because it was based on a stage play by Frederick Knott, which premiered as a BBC TV special in 1952 and later opened at London’s Westminster Theater and, eventually, Broadway. After seeing the BBC production, producer Sir Alexander Korda purchased the rights to make the film version, and later sold them to Warner Bros. for $75,000.

2. ALFRED HITCHCOCK THOUGHT HE WAS “COASTING” WHEN HE MADE THE FILM.

By 1953, when Dial M for Murder arrived at Warner Bros., Hitchcock was developing a project called The Bramble Bush, the story of a man who steals another man’s passport, only to find out that the original owner is wanted for murder. Hitchcock wrestled with the story for a while, but was never satisfied with it. When Dial M for Murder landed at the studio, Hitchcock knew the play had been a hit, and opted to direct it. As he later told fellow director François Truffaut, he found the film to be “coasting, playing it safe,” as he was already known as a thriller filmmaker.

3. IT’S HITCHCOCK’S ONLY 3D FILM.

In the early 1950s, the 3D movie craze was raging, and Warner Bros. was eager to pair it with the fame of Hitchcock. So, the director was ordered to use the process on Dial M for Murder. This meant Hitchcock had to work with the giant cameras necessary for the process, but there was also a trade-off that makes the film fascinating—even in 2D. In order to make the film look appropriately interesting in 3D, Hitchcock added a pit into the floor of the set, so the camera could move at lower angles and captures objects like lamps in the foreground. As a result, the film looks like no other Hitchcock ever shot, particularly for the infamous scissors murder that’s the film's thrilling centerpiece. Unfortunately, by the time Dial M for Murder was released in 1954, the 3D fad was dying out, so the film was shown in 2D at most screenings.

4. IT WAS HITCHCOCK’S FIRST FILM WITH GRACE KELLY.

Of all of the iconic blonde stars Hitchcock cast in his films, the most famous is almost undoubtedly Grace Kelly, the actress-turned-princess who first joined him for this film. Hitchcock once described Kelly as a "rare thing in movies ... fit for any leading-lady part,” and it was said he had the easiest working relationship with her of any star. They worked so well together that they went on to make two more films, Rear Window in 1954 and To Catch a Thief in 1955.

5. IT TAKES PLACE ALMOST ENTIRELY INDOORS.

Because Dial M for Murder is based on a stage play, the original script had very little in the way of outdoor set pieces. Hitchcock wanted to keep it that way, as he later explained to Truffaut:

“I’ve got a theory on the way they make pictures based on stage plays; they did it with silent pictures, too. Many filmmakers would take a stage play and say, ‘I’m going to make this into a film.’ Then they would begin to ‘open it up.’ In other words, on the stage it was all confined to one set, and the idea was to do something that would take it away from the confined stage setting.”

Hitchcock wanted to keep the confinement intact, so almost all of the action in the film takes place indoors, largely in the Wendices' apartment. This adds to the intimacy and tension.

6. HITCHCOCK PERSONALLY CHOSE EVERY PROP.

Hitchcock was always known as a meticulous director obsessed with detail, but on Dial M for Murder he was particularly detail-oriented, in part because the 3D cameras were going to capture objects in a way his other films hadn’t. As a result, he selected all of the objects in the Wendice apartment himself, and even had a giant false telephone dial made for the famous “M” close-up in the title sequence.

7. KELLY’S WARDROBE GROWS DARKER ON PURPOSE.

Grace Kelly in 'Dial M for Murder' (1954)
Warner Home Video

Hitchcock’s exacting eye also led to an elaborate “color experiment” to portray the psychological condition of Kelly’s character. As the film begins, the colors she wears are all very bright, suggesting a happy life in which she doesn’t suspect anything is wrong. As the film grows darker for her, to the point that she’s framed for murder, the wardrobe grows darker and “more somber,” as Hitchcock put it.

8. KELLY WON A PARTICULAR WARDROBE ARGUMENT.

For the scene in which Swann (Anthony Dawson) attempts to murder Margot (Kelly) by strangling her (until she manages to stab him with a pair of scissors), Hitchcock had another exacting wardrobe request. He had an elegant velvet robe made for Kelly, hoping to create interesting textural effects as the lights and shadows played off the fabric while she fought for her life. Kelly reasoned that, since Margot was alone in the apartment (as far as she knew) and was only getting out of bed to answer the phone, she wouldn’t bother to put on a robe.

“I said I wouldn't put on anything at all, that I'd just get up and go to the phone in my nightgown. And [Hitchcock] admitted that was better, and that's the way it was done,” Kelly later recalled.

9. HITCHCOCK WAS SO NERVOUS ABOUT THE PIVOTAL SCENE THAT HE LOST WEIGHT.

Dial M for Murder was shot in just 36 days, but the director took special care with one scene in particular: the murder sequence in which Margot stabs Swann with the scissors. Not only was it a key scene in the film, but it was also a moment that required particular care to make the 3D effects work. Hitchcock agonized over the scene to such a degree that he apparently lost 20 pounds during filming.

"This is nicely done but there wasn't enough gleam to the scissors, and a murder without gleaming scissors is like asparagus without the hollandaise sauce—tasteless,” he reportedly said after one take.

10. HITCHCOCK MAKES HIS CAMEO IN A PHOTOGRAPH.

Hitchcock became known throughout his career for making cameos in his films, ranging from the very subtle (you can see his silhouette in neon outside the window in Rope) to the more elaborate (missing the bus in the opening sequence of North by Northwest). In Dial M for Murder, his cameo falls somewhere in between. He appears in a class reunion photo in the Wendice apartment, seated at a banquet table among other men.

11. IT’S BEEN REMADE FOUR TIMES.

Michael Douglas and Gwyneth Paltrow in 'A Perfect Murder' (1998)
Warner Bros.

Dial M for Murder was a film adaptation of a stage play that had also already been adapted for television in Britain, and it proved popular enough that four more adaptations followed. In 1958, NBC broadcast a Hallmark Hall of Fame production, in which both Anthony Dawson and John Williams returned to play Swann and Chief Inspector Hubbard, respectively. A 1967 ABC television production of the play co-starred Laurence Harvey and Diane Cilento. A television movie starring Angie Dickinson and Christopher Plummer was produced in 1981, and in 1998 the play served as the inspiration for the film A Perfect Murder, starring Michael Douglas and Gwyneth Paltrow.

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