What We Can Learn From The Lives of These Four SOBER Billionaires

#2. Steve Jobs — Keep the body pure

Photo by AB on Unsplash

Don’t be afraid to give up the good to go for the great.”

 John D. Rockefeller

The image of the highly successful CEO partying out with their friends while watching their net worth climb to billionaire status seems to be the ultimate desire, as everyone loves the concept of working hard and playing hard to live an equally successful and exciting life.

What most people don’t realize, however, is that many of the business pioneers that have become household names by making their “dent in the world” were either completely abstinent from any alcohol consumption or drink so little that most would consider them as such.

While most are probably aware of one of the most well-known billionaires who abstains from drinking, Donald J. Trump, we decided to share the story behind a few lesser well-known ones in this article.

Here are some of those you may not have known.

1. John D. Rockefeller — Do it for society

While most people consider Jeff Bezos’s net worth being rather unbelievable with all the angst of him possibly becoming the world’s first trillionaire, John D. Rockefeller is considered by most to be the richest man to ever have lived up to this point.

Rockefeller was the world first recognized billionaire in the 1930s with a net worth of an estimated $1.4 billion. Adjusted for inflation, that would equate to over twice what Jeff Bezos is worth today with a significant amount leftover.

Rockefeller’s reasons for not drinking were strictly religious, as he adhered to the total abstinence of drugs and alcohol of all kinds. Religion was the guiding force of his life and what he attributed to much of his success.

While there are no specific quotes by Rockefeller, Sr. explaining why he didn’t drink, his son, John D. Rockefeller, Jr. equally abstained and may have just been echoing his father’s sentiments when, speaking on the growing dissidence to prohibition, said,

“I was born a teetotaler and I have been a teetotaler on principle all my life…It is my earnest conviction that total abstinence is the wisest, best, and safest position for both the individual and society.”

2. Steve Jobs — Keep the body pure

Many people knew Steve Jobs as the eccentric founder of Apple who was kicked out because of his obsessive perfectionist personality and then asked to come back because it was this same obsessive trait that would save the once-promising company.

Most know that he was a strict vegan and believed whole-heartedly in a mucusless diet — one that consisted mostly of fruits and starchless vegetables to protect the body from the formation of mucus, which he felt was the root of all diseases.

However, what most people don’t realize is that he rarely, if ever, drank any alcohol at all during his lifetime.

The FBI released a file on him that outlined an investigation they performed as a background check for consideration for George H. W. Bush’s post for the President Export Council.

In it, under the area that asks him to share his alcohol use, he writes, N/A.

The reason this is probably so interesting is that he was known for his heavy use of psychedelic drugs when he was younger, but by many accounts was never a heavy drinker.

One story recounts how Avie Tevanian, software pioneer and former VP at Apple, organized his bachelor party and had to teach Jobs how to do a tequila shot.

According to the story, Jobs refused to take it as instructed and decided to sip it instead, a rather amusing image in itself.

3. Larry Ellison — Don’t let it cloud your mind

While Donald Trump didn’t make this list, one of his biggest billionaire supporters did.

Out of all the people who shared their reasoning for not drinking, Larry Ellison’s straightforward reason seems to have the most natural connection to how it can hold one back from being a billionaire.

Has has to quoted to say it “clouds the mind.”

He declares that he has no problems with others doing it but just realized that it wasn’t something he could do and be successful.

It seems that he definitely knew himself well, as his story is a true rag to riches tale, as he founded Oracle, grew it to a world-recognized brand, and obtain a net worth of $66 billion.

4. Warren Buffett — Live as long as possible

Instead of the Oracle of Omaha, Warren Buffett could better be known as the last-minute Mr. Dark Horse as it relates to his billionaire status.

His slow and steady investment strategies didn’t make him a billionaire until he was 50 years old. In fact, 99% of his wealth was after his 50th birthday.

Buffet’s reasoning for not drinking appears to be mostly for health reasons and has served him well, as his net worth from what many would consider their later years of life (60–90) went from an impressive $365 million to a staggering $81 billion.

He gave a great analogy to his reasoning to a group of college students in which he compares the human body to a car that a 16-year-old would get and be told that would be the only car they would ever receive.

What would he do with it?

“I would baby that car because it would have to last a lifetime.”

He didn’t see alcohol helping in that endeavor, and it appears to have paid off both figuratively and literally.


Becoming a billionaire is not an easy endeavor, as it’s estimated that your chances are about 1 in 578,508 if you live in the U.S.

However, while this seems like a daunting number, this actually gives you better odds than getting struck by lightning, which sits at one in 1.2 million.

And a funny (and rather odd) fact related to this, is that your odds of getting struck by lightning increase DRAMATICALLY to one in 15,300 if you live to be 80.

I don’t think the calculations have been done yet, but I would guess that not drinking and living until you’re 80 (ala Mr. Dark Horse himself) could equally do the same to your billionaire chances as well.