Vidal Sassoon was famous in the 1960s for creating a short, angular hairstyle that was a recreation of the classic bob.
He had a tough childhood.
At age 5, he was sent to an orphanage in London, after his father, a womanizer, abandoned his mother.
Seven years later, his mother remarried and he was able to rejoin his family.
At 14, he was apprenticed to a wigmaker.
"This Dickensian beginning instilled a fierce fighting spirit in him, as well as a sense of commercial realities."
Although passionate about architecture, he resigned himself to shampooing the hair of the wigmaker's clients as his only realistic career option.
After the news of the Holocaust reached London he went to Palestine to join the predecessor to the Israeli army.
Returning to London, he trained under Raymond Bessone, in his salon in Mayfair. "He really taught me how to cut hair.... I'd never have achieved what I have without him."
Sassoon opened his first salon in 1954 in London.
Comment: I doubt that the Dickensian childhood was the source of Sassoon's fighting spirit. It might have brought him face to face with practical realities at an early age but I suspect that the fighting spirit was inborn.
Also, noteworthy, is his acknowledgement of the importance of good training.
Note: A good story often seems better than the truth. Dickensian childhood brings to mind the world of Oliver Twist. Yet, an article on Tablet.com describes a visit by Sassoon to the Portuguese Synagogue that housed the orphanage. He said that he enjoyed it there.
By his own account, Sassoon’s years at the orphanage were happy ones. (Sassoon, unlike his younger brother Ivor, was never bitter toward [his mother] Betty, with whom he remained close.)