Seven famous people who survived bankruptcy





As the economy continues to look grim, the word "bankruptcy" is on the tips of more and more tongues. While being unable to pay one's creditors is never a good situation for a company or an individual, it may not be the financial kiss of death that you might think. (Just ask Donald Trump, whose casinos have gone bankrupt twice.)


A number of successful people have found themselves overextended and ended up filing for bankruptcy, only to successfully stick it out and find firmer financial footing again.

Here are a few famous names who knew what it's like to be strapped for cash:

1. Abraham Lincoln

His face may now appear on the penny, but at one time, Lincoln didn't have a single cent to spare. Lincoln tried many occupations as a young man, including buying a general store in New Salem, Illinois, in 1832.

While he may have been terrific at splitting rails, winning debates, and wearing stovepipe hats, Honest Abe wasn't much of a shopkeeper. Lincoln and his partner started buying out other stores' inventories on credit, but their own sales were dismal.

As the store's debts mounted, Lincoln sold his share, but when his partner died, the future President became liable for $1,000 in back payments. Lincoln didn't have modern bankruptcy laws to protect him, so when his creditors took him to court, he lost his two remaining assets: a horse and some surveying gear. That wasn't enough to foot his bill, though, and Lincoln continued paying off his debts until well into the 1840s.

Lincoln's not alone in the annals of bankrupt commanders-in-chief, though. Ulysses S. Grant went bankrupt after leaving office when a partner in an investment-banking venture swindled him....

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