Fun Facts & Famous Accountants

There are many well-known, successful people who are CPAs or started their careers as one. How many do you know?

 

Gibby Haynes, Butthole Surfers band member, was a star accounting and economics student at Trinity University in San Antonio.

 

Chuck "The Iceman" Liddell graduated from Cal Poly University-San Luis Opispo with a degree in business and accounting. Chuck has since won an Ultimate Fighting Championship and was a 2009 contestant on Dancing with the Stars.

 

D-Lo Brown legitimately worked as a CPA prior to beginning his career on WWF television as a professional wrestler. Of course, that requires some sort of accounting degree, which, in D-Lo’s case was acquired at the University of Maine.

 

John Grisham, famous mystery novelist, received his undergraduate degree in accounting from Mississippi State University.

 

Bob Newhart, comedian, started out in accounting.

 

Kenny G., jazz artist, was an accountant before he became famous.

Arthur Blank, co-founder of Home Depot and owner of the Atlanta Falcons, is a CPA.

Kevin Kennedy, former Texas Rangers Manager and CPA, did his players’ tax returns to make extra money when he managed in the minor leagues.

Marcus O’Sullivan, track sensation, passed the CPA exam.

Ray Wersching, the ex-San Francisco 49er field goal kicker, was a CPA during the off-season.

Walter Diemer, was an accountant for the Fleer Corporation in the 1920s.  In his spare time, Diemer tinkered with gum recipes and created a chewy, rubbery substance better known as bubble gum.

Phil Knight, chair of several Fortune 55 companies, including Nike, is a CPA.

Tim DuBois, known as The Singing Accountant, wrote the Alabama hit Love in the First Degree, the Jerry Reed hit She Got the Goldmine, I got the Shaft and the Vince Gill hit When I Call Your Name.  He is currently the president of Arista Records in Nashville.

J.P. Morgan, after graduating from school, got his first Wall Street job as a junior accountant.  Five years later he founded his own company.

Thomas Pickard, was the #2 man at the FBI. Nearly 1,400 of the FBI’s special agents are accountants.

Walter L. Morgan, founder of the Wellington Fund, was considered to be one of the pioneers of the mutual fund industry. The Wellington Fund became the flagship fund for the Vanguard Group of Investment Companies, the second largest mutual fund company in the world. Born on July 23, 1889, he was one of the oldest living CPAs. He passed away in early 2000.

Other Fun Facts

 

Luca Pacioli wrote the first book on double entry accounting in 1494. He is frequently referred to as the father of accounting.  Paciolo is still a hot commodity today.  His portrait was featured in the movie The Spanish Prisoner.

 

Robert Duvall turned to his CPA for advice on whether to undertake the financial and personal pressures of producing, starring, and funding his manuscript for the movie The Apostle. The movie won a wide variety of awards and Duvall was nominated for best actor at the 1998 Academy awards.

Did you know that cost accounting is mentioned in the BibleLuke 14:28 says, “Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it?"

The Ohio State University is home to the Accounting Hall of Fame which honors outstanding contributions to the profession.

The first CPA exam was given in New York in 1896.

The first actor to play Sherlock Holmes was an accountant at Samuelson’s Royal Film Agency. The identity of this accountant-turned-non-professional actor remains at least one unsolved mystery in the history of the great detective.