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Feb 4, 2016
This article is part of a series called Classic TLNT.

Editor’s Note: As I wind down my stint as Editor of TLNT — yes, I’m going to be leaving soon — I wanted to share some of my favorite posts from over the years. Here’s one from March 2014.

I was thinking about this today because, a) I have gotten my fair share of them over the years; and, b) I was amused by this recent blog post in Mental Floss about 10 Rejection Letters Sent to Famous People.

Just the names of the people who got these rejection letters should make you sit up and take notice: Bono, Andy Warhol, Madonna, Kurt Vonnegut, Tim Burton, Steig Larsson (author of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and the Millennium trilogy), and Hunter S. Thompson, among others.

Early critics rejected the Beatles

I’m always amused by rejection letters because they seem to reconfirm what we already know — that people who are paid to assess and measure talent frequently get it very, very wrong.

That’s especially true of people who have talents that are groundbreaking or that don’t easily fit into current concept of what will be successful. This was on display just last month in all the hoopla over the 50th anniversary of the Beatles coming to America in a roundup the Los Angeles Times published of what critics had to say about them in February of 1964.

This article is part of a series called Classic TLNT.