15 Famous People Who Grew Up on Welfare (PHOTOS)

Kelly Clarkson

15 Famous People Who Grew Up on Welfare (PHOTOS)

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15 Famous People Who Grew Up on Welfare (PHOTOS)

The celebrities on this list had to work even harder to gain the successes that they have achieved today.

Stars like Scarlett Johansson and Kelly Clarkson had a tough upbringing, even living on welfare and food stamps for a time.

Scroll through the gallery to see 15 celebs who grew up poor.

 

15 Famous People Who Grew Up on Welfare (PHOTOS)
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Taraji P Henson

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Taraji P Henson

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A story printed by Star revealed that the Oscar-nominee once only had $900 to her name. 

“An unexpected pregnancy was one of many challenges, we report in our story. Her son Marcell’s father was violently murdered — and Taraji found herself struggling, so she went on welfare,” the news publication said.

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Scarlett Johansson

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Scarlett Johansson

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In a recent interview with James Lipton, Scarlett described hardships while growing up in New York City.

“We were living on welfare, we were on food stamps. My parents were raising four kids in a low-income household in Manhattan. So, it was a lot,” she said on Inside The Actor’s Studio

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Viola Davis

MY hair❤

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Viola Davis

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Viola has never been one to shy away from her struggles growing up. 

"I was one of the 17 million kids in this country who didn't know where the next meal was coming from, and I did everything to get food, I have stolen for food. I have jumped in huge garbage bins with maggots for food,” she said in a moving speech at Variety’s Power of Women Event. 

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Oprah Winfrey

Is there anything better than a freshly picked tomato? #harvestday

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Oprah Winfrey

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The mogul has come a long way since her days of living in extreme poverty in Milwaukee. 

According to Business Insider, there were times when Oprah was forced to use potato sacks for clothing because real clothes just were not in the budget. 

Today, Oprah is worth over $3 billion. 


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Kelly Clarkson

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Kelly Clarkson

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Before winning American Idol, Kelly grew up on food stamps and living in a roach-infested home. 

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Whoopi Goldberg

Whoopi Goldberg

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“I don’t feel bad about being a welfare mother because I contribute as an American,” the Oscar winner once said on The View


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J.K. Rowling

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J.K. Rowling

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Before she became a best-selling author, J.K. was a single mother in England living on the dole. 

Today, she is worth an impressive $1 billion. 


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Moby

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Moby

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“I was on food stamps until I was 18 and became an adult,” the singer told the New York Times


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Bruce Springsteen

Bruce Springsteen

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Bruce’s former bandmate, Vini Lopez, told the New Yorker about Bruce’s struggles growing up in Asbury Park, New Jersey. 

“In the late afternoon, Lopez and I were driving around Asbury Park and he started laughing and pointing. ‘That’s where we went to get food stamps — all of us, Bruce, too,’ he said,” the publication states. 


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Sandra Lee

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Sandra Lee

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“If we had extra expenses, or even if we were $5 short, that meant we wouldn’t be eating for the last few days of the month,” the celebrity chef wrote in her memoir Made From Scratch


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Craig T. Nelson

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Craig T. Nelson

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“I’ve been on food stamps and welfare. Anybody help me out? No,” the former Coach star told Glenn Beck. 


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Barack Obama

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Barack Obama

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According to NPR, the former president’s mother lived on food stamps when Barack was a baby. 


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Sarah Jessica Parker

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Sarah Jessica Parker

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”We were on welfare. I remember being poor. There was no great way to hide it. We didn’t have electricity sometimes,” the Sex And the City star told the New York Times in 2000. 

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Dr. Ben Carson

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Dr. Ben Carson

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He’s currently one of the most famous surgeons in the world, but it didn’t start out that way.

“By the time I reached ninth grade, mother had made such strides that she received nothing but food stamps," he wrote in his book. 


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Rep. Barbara Lee

Rep. Barbara Lee

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The Congresswoman used her troubled past to help advocate against cuts to the welfare program. 


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The celebrities on this list had to work even harder to gain the successes that they have achieved today.

Stars like Scarlett Johansson and Kelly Clarkson had a tough upbringing, even living on welfare and food stamps for a time.

Scroll through the gallery to see 15 celebs who grew up poor.