Famous People Who Filed for Bankruptcy

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Famous People Who Filed for Bankruptcy


Abraham Lincoln – filed several times, due to business failures

Thomas Jefferson – filed several times, including after leaving office due to large debt

Ulysses S. Grant – 18th US President – filed in 1884 after leaving office

Daniel Webster – US Secretary of State – 1841

George McGovern – US Senator – filed in 1991 after his inn went out of business

John Connally – former Texas Governor and Treasury Secretary – filed Chapter 11 in 1987

William McKinley – 25th US President

J. Fife Symington – Governor of Arizona – filed in 1995 while still in office

Walt Disney – filed after a company owing him money filed bankruptcy

Henry Ford – Founder of Ford Motor Company

William Durant – Founder of General Motors

Larry King – filed in 1971 and 1978

Donald Trump – filed several bankruptcies

P. T. Barnum – Founder of Barnum & Bailey Circus

H.J. Heinz – Founder of the H.J. Heinz Ketchup Company

Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens) – filed in 1894 due to failed investments

Oscar Wilde – acclaimed poet and author

William Fox – Founder of 20th Century Fox Film Corporation


Burt Reynolds – chapter 11 in 1996 after owing more than 8 million in debts

Lorraine Bracco – filed after long custody battle

Mickey Rooney – 1986 filing – first bankruptcy was in 1962

Kim Basinger – filed due to $8 million judgment after backing out of a movie

Jerry Lewis – filed in the 70’s after losing stage bookings

Gary Coleman – 1999 bankruptcy

Redd Foxx –chapter 11 after owing millions to IRS

Mike Tyson – filed after blowing $300 million foolishly

Morton Downey, Jr. – filed 5 bankruptcies

Larry King – filed in 1971 and again in 1978

Gloria Vanderbilt – 1938 bankruptcy

John Wayne

Toni Braxton – filed in 1998

Francis Ford Coppola – filed in 1999

David Crosby – filed in 1985

Mick Fleetwood – filed in 1984

Dorothy Hamill – filed in 1996

Marvin Gaye – filed in the 70’s

M. C. Hammer – filed in 1996

Merle Haggard – filed in 1993

Chaka Kahn

Jackie Mason – filed in 1983 after bad investments

Ted Nugent

Tom Petty – filed in 1979

Debbie Rooney – filed in 1962

Anna Nicole Smith

Cindy Lauper – filed in 1981

Latoya Jackson – filed in 1995

Wayne Newton – filed in 1992

Lynne Spears – mother of Britney Spears, filed for bankruptcy in 1998 with her then husband James, just before Britney’s career took off.

Zsa Zsa Gabor –  actress, filed bankruptcy in 1933 after a judgment was entered against her for libel for more than $1 million dollars.

Dione Warwick – Grammy award winning singer, filed Chapter 7 in 2013 due to mismanagement of her business affairs and owing more than $7 million to the IRS.

Casey Anthony – young mother acquitted of murdering her 2 year old daughter, filed Chapter 7 listing more than $800 thousand in debt.

Janice Dickinson –  former supermodel and judge on America’s Next Top Model, filed bankruptcy in 2013 due to large medical bills and past due taxes.

Michael Vick –football star, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in July of 2008 while he was still serving time in jail for illegal dog fighting. His plan of reorganization was approved by the court in 2009.