20 Celebrities Who Grew Up in Foster Care

The topic of the foster care system in America is often a controversial subject, but these stars are proof that you can emerge from foster care as a successful adult. Several famous actors, musicians and athletes have spent time in foster care. Some of these celebrities were sent to foster care after their parents died, but others were taken into custody of the state because of neglect or abuse.

Who is the most famous person who grew up in foster care? tops our list. grew up with foster parents, family friends, and various aunts and uncles as a ward of the state. Victoria Rowell was also raised in foster care. She said, “For anyone who has spent any portion of their childhood as a ward of the state, the notion of emancipation has multiple meanings. Though I was legally and financially emancipated at the requisite age of eighteen and had always been fiercely independent, it wasn’t until I was forty-three years old and a working mother of two that I finally set myself free.

Several famous men also grew up in foster care. After his father died and his mother fell ill, spent a year in foster care when he was four years old. Malcolm X lived in several foster homes when he was a teen. He later went to live with his sister, Ella, in Boston.

John Lennon

John Lennon was fostered by his Aunt for a time growing up.

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Steve Jobs was in foster care before being adopted by Paul and Clara Jobs as an infant.

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Marilyn Monroe

Marilyn Monroe grew up with foster parents, family friends, and various aunts and uncles as a ward of the state.

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Eddie Murphy

After his father died and his mother fell ill, Eddie Murphy spent a year in foster care when he was four years old.

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Cher was placed in foster care for a short time when she was a child.

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Malcolm X

Malcolm X lived in several foster homes when he was a teen. He later went to live with his sister, Ella, in Boston.

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James Dean

After his mother died when he was only five years old, James Dean was fostered by relatives.

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Willie Nelson

From an early age, Willie Nelson was fostered by his grandparents.

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Babe Ruth

At age seven, Babe Ruth was sent to St. Mary’s Industrial School for Boys to be raised by Catholic monks.

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Ice-T

Ice-T became a foster kid after both of his parents died.

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Victoria Rowell

Victoria Rowell grew up in foster care. She said, “For anyone who has spent any portion of their childhood as a ward of the state, the notion of emancipation has multiple meanings. Though I was legally and financially emancipated at the requisite age of eighteen and had always been fiercely independent, it wasn’t until I was forty-three years old and a working mother of two that I finally set myself free.

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Ruth Westheimer

Ruth Westheimer was raised in foster care after her parents died in the Holocaust.

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Alonzo Mourning

Alonzo Mourning was admitted to the foster care system at age 12.

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Michael Oher

Michael Oher lived in foster care before being adopted. His life story was the inspiration behind the film, The Blind Side.

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Eriq La Salle

Eriq La Salle was taken into foster care shortly after he was born.

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Tommy Davidson

Tommy Davidson was fostered and later adopted by a friend of his mother.

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Daunte Culpepper

Daunte Culpepper’s foster mother raised 15 foster children.

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Dan O’Brien

Dan O’Brien spent the first year of his life in foster care before he was adopted.

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Carl Hancock Rux

Carl Hancock Rux grew up in the Bronx with foster parents.

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Phillips Idowu

Phillips Idowu spent some time in foster care growing up.