List of Famous Orphans, loosely ranked by fame and popularity. Some very famous people were left orphaned after their parents died or abandoned their families. Famous political leaders, actors, authors and musicians have all been orphans. Some celebrities lost their parents when they were very young, while others became orphans when they were teenagers. These famous people were either raised by family or placed in orphanages and foster homes.
Who is the most famous orphan? Marilyn Monroe tops our list. There is some discrepancies about the identity of Marilyn Monroe's father, but by all accounts he was not present during her childhood. Her mother was mentally unstable and placed Monroe, then known by the name Norma Jeane Baker, with a foster family. When Monroe was seven she was declared a ward of the state. She was raised by her mother's friend for a few years, but she later spent time in an orphanage, more foster homes and with other family members.
Malcolm X's father died when Malcolm X was just six years old. He died under suspicious circumstances in a streetcar accident, but the family suspected that he was murdered by a white racist group. When Malcolm X was 12, his mother suffered a nervous breakdown and spent the next 24 years in a state hospital. Malcolm X lived in foster homes for a few years and eventually he stayed with his half-sister.
Do you think that being an orphan played into the success of these famous folks. Share your thoughts in the comments section.
- Eleanor Roosevelt's mother, Anna Rebecca Hall, died from diphtheria in 1892. The next year, when Roosevelt was 9 years old, her father Elliott died from the same disease. She was raised by her maternal grandmother.
- Age: Dec. at 78 (1884-1962)
- Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States of America
- Photo: Sony TriStarIce-T's mother, Alice Marrow, died when he was in the third grade. His father Solomon raised him until he died of a heart attack when Ice-T was 12. He was then raised by his aunt and uncle.
- Age: 63
- Birthplace: Newark, New Jersey, United States of America
- Ingrid Bergman's mother Friedel died when Bergman was just three years old. Her father Justus died when she was 13. Bergman then lived with an aunt who died of heart disease 6 months later. Another aunt and uncle subsequently raised Bergman.
- Age: Dec. at 67 (1915-1982)
- Birthplace: Stockholm, Sweden
- Babe Ruth was sent to live at an orphanage when he was seven years old. There isn't much information regarding the reasons Ruth being sent to the orphanage, but Ruth later suggested that it was because he was running the streets and generally misbehaving. Out of eight children born to Katherine and George Ruth, Sr., only one other, Ruth's sister Marnie, survived infancy.
- Age: Dec. at 53 (1895-1948)
- Birthplace: Pigtown, Baltimore, Maryland, United States of America