The genius behind the wildly popular Survivor and The Apprentice, Mark Burnett invented reality TV as we know it. But his trek to Tinseltown was quite an adventure.
"My upbringing was in a very, very blue-collar family," Mark says. "Both parents were factory workers. My dad worked the night shift for 30 years. My mother went to work pouring acid into car batteries for 25 years."
At 17, he enlisted in the British Army and served as an elite paratrooper. Five years later, he left Britain with just $600 in his pocket to pursue the American dream. He found a job as a nanny in Los Angeles, but soon opened up a small T-shirt business on Venice Beach.
Through hard work, Mark achieved financial success but he still felt that he could dream a bigger dream. His passions were adventure and TV. He combined the two, mortgaged his house, and bought the American rights to the European show Survivor. And as they say, the rest is history.