What 24 Of The World’s Most Influential People Wanted To Be When They Were Kids
Thankfully, almost none of them achieved their goals.
No parent wants to limit their child’s ambitions … until your kindergartener’s classmates start talking about how they plan to save the world and yours announces, “I’m going to be a dinosaur!” When that happens, refer back to this list. You might recognize a few names — business moguls, Oscar winners, billionaire entrepreneurs, and even a President. Turns out, the Oracle of Omaha actually was an oracle, but most of these folks wound up pretty far from where their childhood self intended to go and the world was better for it. All of which is to say that “dinosaur” is a perfectly reasonable thing for your kindergartener to want to be when they grow up.
Wanted To Be: An Actress
Wanted To Be: An Archeologist
Then an astronaut. Then a physicist. Then a computer programmer. Figures, Mr. Amazon wanted it all. A new career is about the only thing you can’t buy from Bezos on a drunken whim. Yet.
Noble aspirations, indeed. You think he would’ve added, “President” if he’d known the other 2 would definitely happen? At the very least he probably would have thrown in, “Guy with a better name than ‘Mitt.'”
Really, Warren? You couldn’t have at least said, “Astronaut” for a couple of years? Just to give everyone else a shot?
She may not have originated this quote (maybe it was John Lennon, maybe it was Linus, nobody really knows), but Goldie definitely said it once. At least according to Goldie. Quotes are confusing.
James Earl Jones
He’s not one, but he has played one on TV! And in the movies.
Fleck chose music in high school when his boss at the library reacted to his time off request for a gig with a career ultimatum: music or library shelving. The rest is jam band history.
He settled for starting cable news, creating superstations, and basically running TV. Plus, there was that time he was married to Jane Fonda. But sure, the Navy would have been good, too.
Presumably a celebrity journalist, like Perez Hilton, who always portrays Denzel and his contemporaries kindly. Denzel, care to confirm?
Just how difficult is it to become a doctor? J-Law would rather try to survive the Hunger Games than medical school.
Wanted To Be: A Sports Broadcaster
Which begs the question, did Ferrell really want to be Champ Kindand not Ron Burgundy?
Kareem didn’t quite achieve his goal, but it was eventually fulfilled by fellow freakishly tall human Randy Johnson. Meanwhile, things worked out ok for Jabbar on the sports front, too.
And he was. And then he was in charge of all of them. And all the guys in the other branches, too. Incidentally, nobody has ever answered this question with, “Peanut Farmer.”
So ironic, then, that he runs the largest non-profit in history, instead.
Nailed it, although let’s put to bed this notion that he coded the original Facebook in 2 weeks. Nobody’s first Facebook binge ends that quickly.
Washington even studied marine biology in high school until AP biology class convinced her to pick the stage over Sea World. Solid choice — always opt for the fictional Scandal.
He even tried out for the Cincinnati Reds. Must have seen Derek Jeter coming. Although “Sexiest Man Alive” isn’t a bad Plan B when “Most Eligible Bachelor In Sports” is unavailable.
Does it count that he’s most famous for drawling like a southern lawyer?
Until a near-fatal accident got him off that path right quick. He still managed to make his way to light speed eventually.
You could say this one came true. Martha sure has taught people a lot over the years, like how to make a pretty radish rose or how to decorate the whole prison camp for Christmas with just $50.
He still interrogates people, but people actually like him. Win win, Mr. Wallace.
Francis Ford Coppola
If reading is therapy, Tan achieved her goal to some extent. If reading puts you to sleep immediately, Tan still appreciates you buying her books.
Wanted To Be: A Baseball Player
So, You Know What Your Kid Wants To Be When They Grow Up — Now What?
Methodology and Resources
This article was originally published on