It's not every man who can go from working at a high school to making millions, all while battling terminal cancer and Mexican drug lords. But Walter White, the star of AMC's Breaking Bad, isn't every man. Over the course of four and a half seasons, he has transformed from a meek and hapless underachiever into a ruthless drug kingpin, the anti-hero par excellence of modern television drama.
But his rise to prominence is not as unlikely as it seems. As a young graduate of the California Institute of Technology, Walt co-founded Gray Matter Technologies, a scientific research facility. He later sold his share of the company to his partner for only $5,000, only to watch bitterly as the company's net worth climbed north of $2 billion. A brilliant scientist, Walt is working below his potential as a high-school chemistry teacher when Breaking Bad begins. A doctor diagnoses him with terminal lung cancer soon after his 50th birthday, causing him, in desperation, to cook crystal methamphetamine as a quick way of making enough money to provide for his family after his death. But as his high-quality product becomes famous, he grows to enjoy the power and influence he wields, pleased to be building an empire at last.
As Breaking Bad gears up for its finale this summer, we're taking a look at Walt's most badass moments and the business lessons you can learn from them.