- After Fred Astaires first screen test, a 1933 memo from the MGM testing director said: “Cant act. Slightly bald. Can dance a little.” Astaire kept that memo over the fireplace in his Beverly Hills home.
- An expert said of famous football coach Vince Lombardi: “He possesses minimal football knowledge. Lacks motivation.”
- Louisa May Alcott, the author of Little Women, was advised by her family to find work as a servant or seamstress.
- Beethoven handled the violin awkwardly and preferred playing his own compositions instead of improving his technique. His teacher called him hopeless as a composer.
- The teacher of famous opera singer Enrico Caruso said Caruso had no voice at all and could not sing.
- Walt Disney was fired by a newspaper for lacking ideas. He also went bankrupt several times before he built Disneyland.
- Eighteen publishers turned down Richard Bachs 10,000 word story about a soaring seagull before Macmillan finally published it in 1970. By 1975, Jonathan Livingston Seagull had sold more than seven million copies in the U.S. alone.”