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short story

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How This Man Became a Billionaire Through Silky Smooth Hair and Tequila

This is the story of John Paul DeJoria.

John Paul DeJoria was born April 13th, 1944 in the Echo Park neighborhood of LA. A son to two immigrants, his parents divorced by the time he was two, leaving only his mother to take care of him and his brother.

To help out with bills, he started going door-to-door selling Christmas cards, newspapers, and encyclopedias before he was a teenager.

“Doors slam literally in your face- maybe 30, 40 doors before the first customer will actually talk to you and let you in.”When his mother couldn’t provide for them anymore, he and his brother were sent to a foster home. He joined a street gang but turned his life around when his high school math teacher told him he would never succeed at anything in life. He graduated high school at 18 and joined the navy.

At 22-years-old, DeJoria found himself homeless for the first time. His wife at the time left him to care for his son and with rent overdue, he collected coke bottles to try to make ends meet. He wound up on the street for a few days before getting help from a friend.