Child Ran Away or Left Home to Work

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Anderson, Edward Warrigal

Anderson was born in Victoria, Australia and named after a dingo that witnessed his birth. When he was 10 years old he ran away from Moonee Ponds to escape government agents in the area to ... [more]

Templer, James

Templer was born to a poor family in Exeter. He was orphaned at the age of six and placed in St. John's Hospital, a school for destitute young children. He was apprenticed at 14 to a joiner... [more]

Robinson, Bill

Bojangles' early life is obscured by legends, some of them propagated by himself, but it seems that he was orphaned as a baby (or at the age of six) and raised by his grandmother. He began ... [more]

Mills, Robert Scourfield

Mills was raised by his grandmother and ran away to sea while still a boy. He was a soldier during the Boer War and became famous for his exploits there; he was awarded the DSO and rose to ... [more]

Lue Gim Gong

Lue was born into a wealthy farming family in Canton. An uncle who had already emigrated to the USA returned with stories of the great opportunities there, and at the age of 12 Lue prevaile... [more]

Long Lance, Buffalo Child

Long Lance (born Sylvester Long) claimed to be a Blackfoot or Blackfoot-Cherokee chief. In fact he was almost certainly not a Blackfoot at all, but rather of mixed ancestry, including Afric... [more]

Little Richard

Little Richard was born into a family of 12 children, the son of a bartender and Seventh-Day Adventist minister in Macon, Georgia. He left home at 13 because his family could not tolerate h... [more]

La Marr, Barbara

La Marr was born Reatha Watson in central Washington state, but her parents moved to California when she was very young. She left home at the age of 14 and never returned, making a living a... [more]

Houdini, Harry

Houdini was born in Budapest, Hungary, the son of a Jewish rabbi and his wife. The family immigrated to the USA when he was four, and settled in Appleton, Wisconsin. The family was so poor ... [more]

Henson, Matthew Alexander

Henson was orphaned as a boy and was mistreated by his uncle. He ran away and lived on the streets for a while, until he was taken in by a Miss Janey, who ran a café where he worked and whe... [more]

Fitzgerald, Ella

Fitzgerald's birth parents both died when she was a child; she never knew her father and her mother died about 1935. Some sources state that she earlier ran away from her abusive step-fathe... [more]

Brady, John Green

Brady was born in New York. His mother died when he was very young. His father remarried, but Brady seems to have been unhappy with his step-mother, and he ran away from home when he was ei... [more]

Baker, Josephine

Baker (the surname of her second husband) was born Josephine Carson to an unmarried couple in the slums of St. Louis, Missouri. Her father abandoned the family before she was a year old, an... [more]

Whaitiri, Te Waari Kahukura

Te Waari was born on the isolated Chatham Islands east of New Zealand to Meriana Ngapohe Rawiri and Te Wera William Whaitiri. His mother died when he was six and he was sent as a tamaiti wh... [more]

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