This week, it was revealed that Brian Acton, the man who just sold WhatsApp to Facebook for $19 billion, was rejected for jobs at Facebook and Twitter. Here are 10 more people who, fortunately, never gave up...

01 Walt Disney was fired as a news reporter from the Kansas City Star in 1919. No imagination, they said. No good ideas, they said. He was also told that a giant mouse (named Mickey) on a cinema screen would 'terrify women'.

02 Stephen King's first book, Carrie, was rejected 30 times. The 30th must have pushed him over the edge, because he chucked it in the bin. Fortunately, his wife rescued it and made him resubmit it and he became the world's leading horror writer.

03 Harland David Sanders (Col. Sanders)'s chicken recipe was rejected by more than 1,000 restaurants before one finally accepted him. KFC was born and his face got turned into one of the most recognisable logos in the world. God bless the Colonel.

Colonel Sanders

04 Before he built his internationally successful company and brand, Soichiro Honda was turned down for an engineering job at Toyota.

05 After dropping out of Reed University and revolutionising personal computing, Steve Jobs actually got fired from Apple (the company he started), before returning and creating the iPod, iPad and iPhone and reintroducing black turtlenecks as fashion staples.

06 When Gary Oldman auditioned for the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, they told him to pursue another career. Luckily, he was quite stubborn about it and went on to smash the smug smiles right off their faces.


07 Stan Smith was rejected from being a ball boy for a Davis Cup tennis match because he was deemed too clumsy and uncoordinated. He went on to win Wimbledon, the US Open and 8 Davis Cups.

08 Back in 1954, Elvis Presley was told by Jimmy Denny, manager of the Grand Ole Opry, "You ain't goin' nowhere, son. You ought to go back to drivin' a truck." Instead he kept on curling his lip and shaking his leg and became The King.

09 Warren Buffet, multi-billionaire business magnate, was rejected from Harvard Business School. Nowadays, people go to Harvard Business School because they want to be the NEXT Warren Buffet.

Warren Buffet

10 Albert Einstein could not speak until he was four or read until he was seven. One of his teachers described him as "mentally slow, unsociable, and adrift forever in foolish dreams". He was eventually expelled and refused admittance to the Zurich Polytechnic School. He did eventually learn to speak and read. And do the odd bit of maths.

Words by Elizabeth Atkin.