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Percy Bysshe Shelley

5 Historical Figures Who Were Kicked Out Of School

Making history doesn’t necessarily mean playing by the rules. Some of our most cherished figures in history were rabble rouse-rs, misfits, and school drop outs. Here are 5 historical figures that were kicked out of school yet still went on to make history in their own way.

Naughty But Accomplished

Edgar Allen Poe

While nothing this man has ever accomplished would ever be seen as “normal”, this beloved poet was kicked out of West Point Military for behavior unbecoming of a cadet to say the least. At first he thrived at the military academy and did quite well with his studies. However, after a falling out with his foster father, Edgar’s rebellious nature kicked in again and chaos ensued. Edgar stopped attending his classes, role call, and chapel in favor of attending the local watering hole, and soon found himself expelled. Poe went on to write some of the most compelling poems and short stories in American literature, with his work still being used today as a standard for writers to strive for.

Marlon Brando

This esteemed American actor had a reputation both on and off screen as a person who lived to break the rules. He was expelled from his first high school for a long line of offenses, ranging from throwing firecrackers at students to writing an essay on a toilet paper role, only to wind up at Shattuck Military Academy. In only a few months, Brando was formally dismissed from the academy due to talking back to his drill Sargents and leaving campus when he was under probation. A year later, Marlon made his Broadway debut.Read more about the artist here.

Benito Mussolini

Not exactly a role model, but one of history’s most notorious dictators was, to no one’s surprise, a bully, thief, and all around bad kid. He was expelled from his local school for his bad behavior and sent off to a Catholic Boarding school (never, ever, a good idea). After being chastised by a priest for stabbing another student in the hand with a pen knife, he threw an ink pot at the offending priest and was summarily expelled…again. Ironically, “II Duce” went on to obtain his teaching certificate, and was known by his students as “the tyrant”. Nice to see he could bring that same warm and fuzzy approach he had towards his students to his career in politics.

Salvador Dali

The man who once owned a pet ant eater (and walked it regularly on a leash in New York) has never had the reputation of really being normal, so it shouldn’t surprise anyone that scholastic career was a troubled one. After attending the Royal Academy OF Fine Arts in San Fernando, Madrid, he was excelled after rallying a student protest against the process by which instructors where selected for the school. He was allowed to come back the following year, only to be expelled again after informing his peers that none of his professors were skilled enough to evaluate his work. Dali went on to painting some of the most memorable surrealistic works of all time, including The Persistence Of Memory, and wrote two full length films. It has also been stated that Dali has one of the most imitated mustaches in the world of art. The vote is still out on that one particular fact..

Percy Bysshe Shelley Percy Bysshe Shelley

The writer of such classic poems as “Queen Mab” and “Ozymandias” was also a rabid atheist who was thoroughly bored and frustrated with the Christian views on life at Oxford University. He wrote a pamphlet called the “Necessity of Atheism” with a fellow student, both of whom went on to distribute it throughout the campus, including to various clergymen and professors. Although it was written under a pen name, the duo was found out, and brought before the school board over their writing. Both student were expelled for rattling Christian and English sensibilities. After a falling out with his father (notice a trend?) Shelley eloped with a 16 year old girl, and set sail on his incredible literary career.

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