Famous Middle Children

Middle children are often portrayed as overlooked and undervalued. Generally, they are not considered the favorite child of the family. It’s either they have the feeling of being “left out” or the need to compete with their eldest and youngest siblings for their parents’ attention. They are also portrayed as having a rebellious streak and seen as the “troublemakers” of the family.

But many middle children debunk these “middle child syndrome” stereotypes by embracing their status and even celebrating it. And it’s proven by this list of middle children who have made it big in several fields – showbiz, business, politics, sports, the arts, and others.

1) Abraham Lincoln (1809 – 1865)

16th President of the United States

an iconic black and white photograph of Lincoln

Lincoln, the 16th president of the United States, was the second child in a brood of three. He had an older sister, Sarah, and a younger brother, Thomas, who died in infancy.

When Lincoln’s mother died when he was eight or nine years old, Sarah was responsible for running the household and taking care of her younger brother and their cousin. Sarah died while giving birth to a stillborn son, aged only 20.

2) Warren Buffet (b. 1930)

Chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway

Warren Buffet picture

Warren Buffet, one of the world’s most successful investors, is called the “Oracle of Omaha” or “Sage of Omaha.” He was born in Omaha, Nebraska, the second of three children of Congressman Howard Buffet and his wife Leila (nee Stahl). Warren has two siblings: an older sister named Doris and a younger sister named Roberta, making him the only son in the family.

3) Princess Diana (1961 – 1997)

Member of the British royal family

Princess Diana in a pink suit, wearing a pearl necklace

Diana Frances Spencer was the fourth of five children of John Spencer, Viscount Althorp and Frances Spencer, Viscountess Althorp. Diana had two older sisters and a younger brother, and another younger brother who died only a few hours after his birth. 

Prince Charles, Diana’s future husband, actually dated her older sister Sarah first.

4) Donald Trump (b. 1946)

Businessman, media personality, and 45th President of the United States

Donald Trump smiling

Donald John Trump was the fourth of five children of real-estate developer Fred Trump and his wife Mary Anne. Donald has three older siblings – Mary Anne, Fred Jr., and Elizabeth – and a younger brother, Robert.

5) Charles Darwin (1809 – 1882)

Naturalist, biologist, and geologist

a bearded charles darwin

Best known as the “Father of Evolution,” Charles Robert Darwin was born in Shropshire, England, in 1809, the fifth of six children. He came from a family of influential physicians and freethinkers. Although Darwin was an average student in school, he rose to become one of the most influential natural scientists in history with his theory of evolution and natural selection.

6) Martin Luther King Jr. (1929 – 1968)

Baptist minister and civil rights activist

black and white portrait of Martin Luther King

Martin Luther King Jr. was the second of three children to the Reverend Michael King, a Baptist minister, and his wife Alberta. Martin had an older sister, Christine, and a younger brother, Alfred, who also became a Reverend and civil rights activist like his older brother.

7) John F. Kennedy (1917 – 1963)

35th President of the United States

John F. Kennedy smiling

John Fitzgerald Kennedy was the second of nine children of Joseph P. Kennedy Sr., a prominent businessman and ambassador to the United Kingdom, and his wife Rose Fitzgerald, a well-known socialite and philanthropist. The Kennedys are an influential Irish-American family.

John had an older brother, Joseph Patrick (“Joe”), who was killed in action during World War II while serving as a land-based bomber pilot. Their father actually groomed Joe to become the next U.S. President.

John had two younger brothers, Robert (“Bobby”) and Edward Moore (“Ted”). Both had successful political careers of their own – Bobby was a U.S. Attorney General and Senator from New York (he was assassinated in 1968), while Ted was a Senator from Massachusetts. In addition to his brothers, John had five younger sisters: Rose Marie, Kathleen Agnes, Eunice, Patricia, and Jean Ann (the last-surviving and longest-lived Kennedy sibling; she died in 2020, aged 92).

8) Bill Gates (b. 1955)

Co-founder and former CEO of Microsoft

Head and shoulders photo of Bill Gates

Middle children are known to be independent and self-motivated. Take tech billionaire Bill Gates. In 1975, he dropped out of Harvard and co-founded Microsoft. Today, he’s probably the wealthiest middle child of all time, with a net worth of $145.8 billion.

Gates is the second of three children of attorney William H. Gates, Sr. and schoolteacher and businesswoman Mary Maxwell Gates. He has an older sister, Kristianne, and a younger sister, Libby.

9) Frédéric Chopin (1810 – 1849)

Pianist and composer

a daguerreotype portrait of Frederic Chopin

Frédéric François Chopin was the second child and only son of Nicolas Chopin, a Frenchman who came to Poland to work as a teacher, and his wife Justyna Krzyżanowska. Justyna was a poor relative of the noble family, the Skarbeks, for whom Nicolas worked.

Chopin was born with the original Polish name, Fryderyk Franciszek. He had three sisters: the eldest, Ludwika, who was the first to teach him to play piano; third sibling Izabella; and the youngest, Emilia, who died at age 15 from tuberculosis.

Chopin was one of the leading pianists and composers of the Romantic period whose works – nocturnes, mazurkas, polonaises, études, preludes, impromptus, waltzes, and concertos – are still widely performed and recorded today.

10) Britney Spears (b. 1981)

Singer-songwriter, dancer, and actress

smiling Britney Spears

Former teen pop star Britney Spears is the second child in a brood of three. She has an older brother, producer Bryan James, and a younger sister, actress and singer Jamie Lynn (known for her titular role in the Nickelodeon sitcom Zoey 101

11) Madonna (b. 1958)

Singer-songwriter, dancer, and actress

Madonna singing

Pop superstar Madonna has two older brothers Anthony and Martin, two younger sisters Paula and Melanie, and a younger brother Christopher. Their mother, Madonna Louise (Madonna’s full name is also Madonna Louise), died of breast cancer in 1963 when little Madonna was only five.

12) Michael Jordan (b. 1963)

Former NBA player and Chicago Bulls superstar 

head and shoulders portrait of Michael Jordan

“His Airness” Michael Jordan is the fourth of five children of mechanic and bank employee James R. Jordan, Sr., and his wife Deloris Peoples. He has two older brothers, James Ronald (“Ronnie”) and Larry, older sister Deloris, and younger sister Roslyn.

13) Theodore Roosevelt (1858 – 1919)

25th President of the United States

black and white portrait of Theodore Roosevelt

Theodore Roosevelt Jr. was the second of four children of businessman and philanthropist Theodore Roosevelt, Sr. and socialite Martha Stewart Bulloch (“Mittie”). He had an older sister Anna (“Bamie”), younger brother Elliot, and younger sister, Corinne.

Bamie took care of her brother Theodore’s infant child when his young wife died shortly after childbirth, assuming parental responsibility. Their younger brother Elliot was the father of Eleanor Roosevelt, the cousin and wife of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, during whose long tenure (1933 – 1945) she served as the First Lady of the United States.

14) Benjamin Netanyahu (b. 1949)

Former Prime Minister of Israel

Benjamin Netanyahu smiling during his visit in Brazil, with the Israeli and Brazilian flags behind him

Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu currently holds the record as the longest-serving Prime Minister of Israel for a total of 15 years, from 1996 to 1999 (three years) and from 2009 to 2021 (12 years). When Netanyahu was first elected in 1996, he became Israel’s youngest-ever Prime Minister at 46 years old. He is also the first Prime Minister of Israel to be born in Israel since its establishment as an independent state in 1948. 

Born in Tel Aviv in 1949, Benjamin Netanyahu is the second of three sons of historian Benzion Netanyahu (formerly Mileikowsky) and his wife Tzila Segal. He received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and worked for the Boston Consulting Group. In the 1980s, Netanyahu was appointed Israel ambassador to the United Nations. He then entered Israeli politics, eventually winning the chairmanship of the right-wing Likud party in 1993.

His older brother Yonatan (“Yoni”) was a military commander in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). He was killed during a hostage rescue mission, known as Operation Entebbe, at the Entebbe Airport in Uganda in 1976 – the only casualty on the IDF side. Bibi has always said that Yoni’s death drove him to politics.

Bibi’s younger brother, Iddo, is a physician, author and playwright. All three Netanyahu brothers served in the IDF’s special forces unit, Sayeret Matkal.

15) Mark Zuckerberg (b. 1984)

Co-founder and CEO of Facebook

head and shoulders photo of Mark Zuckerberg

Mark Zuckerberg is the second child and only son in a brood of four. He has an older sister, Randi, and two younger sisters, Donna and Arielle. Randi previously worked for Facebook as director of market development and spokesperson; she is now the CEO of her own company Zuckerberg Media.

Family Girl Children Sibling Brother Child

Common Traits of a Middle Child

  1. They’re peacemakers and pleasures – Middle children can be people-pleasers who attempt to keep the peace because their early years may have involved some compromise. They must learn how to be both an elder sibling to the youngest and a younger sibling to the oldest, but they are “ready to bargain,” she continues.
  2. They’re competitive – Middle children may feel competitive toward their older siblings because it’s difficult to feel inferior to their older siblings. They may feel pressured to outperform the elder sibling in some way, whether it be through academic achievement, athletic prowess, or just by learning from the mistakes made by the older sibling.
  3. They try to fit in – The middle kid frequently makes an effort to fit in since they believe they don’t have a clear place in the family. This way of thinking might also apply to social circles like friends and school in addition to the household. If they don’t feel like they have one at home, they might also try to find a position or identity elsewhere.
  4. They are independent and focus on friendships – Middle children could feel a bit “on their own,” to use a term. They may experience early on a strong sense of independence and a greater emphasis on friendships outside the household.
  5. They act out to get attention – Finally, there’s a potential that a middle child will act out in some way to get attention if they feel neglected or ignored. When they were younger, they might make a mess for no apparent reason; or when they were older, they might rebel by purposefully upsetting their parents. In either case, they seek the attention they believe they haven’t received.
Henryków Lubański, Wikiekspedycja 2013 ekipa

Middle Children in Adulthood

Being the middle child can really have benefits, despite what popular culture portrays as its major disadvantage.

Although though it’s challenging for a youngster to feel ignored as they grow up, there is something positive about having an older sibling set an example and serve as a role model for a younger sibling.

Due to their propensity to keep the peace, middle children can be excellent teammates and coworkers. Some middle children have a natural feeling of independence, which can be beneficial to them later in life.

The experiences of middle children may cause them to feel a “lack of confidence, disregarded, neglected, unimportant, or like nothing exceptional” as adults. You can always seek the assistance of a mental health professional if these feelings of abandonment or exclusion are adversely affecting your life.

Nature Girls Friends Sisters Children Happiness

Advantages of a Middle Child

1. They are responsible – The youngest child was presumably playing with toys while the oldest child committed mistakes, the middle child observed the mistakes being made, and the middle child was absent. This instilled responsibility in the middle child and taught him to avoid repeating his mistakes—or most of them, at least.

2. They are good at negotiation – Unlike the oldest, who demanded, and the youngest, who complained, the middle child learned how to negotiate with their parents and siblings. They become skilled negotiators who frequently succeed in getting what they want.

3. They are great empathisers – The middle child, who experienced being overshadowed as a child, can always identify with the underdog. They frequently go over and aboveover to improve the mood of others who are down.

4. They make good leader – Because they spend a large chunk of their childhood in the center of a shouting argument amongst their siblings, middle children frequently develop strong leadership skills.

5. They are focused on fairness – Middle children worry deeply about fairness and equality because they have experienced injustices such as sharing all of their favorite toys and receiving old hand-me-downs.

6. They don’t have huge egos – The middle child may have slightly lower self-esteem due to the order of birth, although this isn’t always a bad thing since middle children rarely have a big ego.

7. They are often easy going – Since they spent their childhood in the heart of their siblings’ fights, middle children learn to be flexible at a very young age. The arguments, which mainly concerned which game to play or whether they should play indoors or outside, today seem kind of meaningless, but they had a positive impact on the middle child’s development.

8. They are willing to rebel – Most middle children eventually rebel, even if it’s simply by dying a purple streak in their hair, because being the middle kid frequently entails receiving less attention. Typically, it is only a lighthearted rebellion to get some much-needed attention, but it teaches kids later in life to not be afraid of controversy and to take risks.

9. They are independent – The middle child is surrounded by siblings their entire childhood, and while they love them, they greatly value whatever time they have to themselves. They are aware of the value of solitude and realize they don’t always need people around them.

10. They are great with children – Even when they are only advising the younger sibling not to actually eat the mud pie they just cooked, the middle sibling is still assisting in raising their younger brother. Due to this, middle children are frequently excellent around kids, whether they want it or not.

11. They avoid conflict – Middle children learn to stay out of conflict after spending years in the heart of their siblings’ arguments. This indicates that they are likely to be nice and giving, but don’t try to take advantage of them because they have also defeated their siblings in a few conflicts.

12. They make great decisions – The middle children were both old enough to be curious and inexperienced enough to not know any better. They have seen their older sibling make mistakes, but they have also relished their smaller sibling’s curious naivety.  They typically make fairly fantastic selections as they factor in both mindsets.

13. They are loved by their siblings – Being the middle child meant that they got along well with both of their siblings; they could play pretend with the youngest child and watch TV with the oldest child. Well, everyone has a secret favorite middle child, of course.

14. They are patient – Middle children have truly perfected the art of patience after waiting patiently for years for their turn to engage in activities with their siblings, such as playing on the PlayStation, swinging, or any other activity.

15. They are creative – For the middle child to truly receive a considerable amount of attention from their parents, it took a lot of ingenuity and preparation. Middle children have always been creative, whether it is choosing an odd, fascinating class or coming up with your own hidden language.

Trouble Shouts Argue Children Scream Cry Dispute

Disadvantages of a Middle Child

1. Low attention – Because he or she is older than you, your older sibling receives half of your attention when you are born. Your mother is once again expecting you just as you begin to get attention. As a result, you will never be the family’s favorite or most popular child. Generally, your parents, relatives, and everyone else only show you a tiny bit of concern and attention. One of the disadvantages of being the middle child is getting distracted attention.

2. Always have to sacrifice – The younger child almost always ends up with new items or toys. The middle child receives something when the older child has finished using it. The younger child receives a new item because these items or toys quickly deteriorate. Being the middle child in this situation requires you to reuse things, which can be depressing at times.

3. Star achiever  – Both the elder and younger siblings will be used as comparative factors. Even if you succeed in earning honors in sports or outstanding academics, you might not receive the recognition you desire. This is due to the encouragement your younger sibling would receive for performing better than you. This is not to say that your parents won’t be pleased with your accomplishment, but their expressions may come out as a little weak.

4. Share the room – You will have to share a room with your older sibling while you are young. You assume you will have your own space when your older sibling gets a room of his own, but the smaller child soon moves in with you. Overall, you might never have a private space.

5. Be bullied – Both the younger and older siblings bully the middle child. Being the middle child has disadvantages, such as having the older brother boss you about. As your younger sibling can complain to your parents, it would appear that you are unable to do the same for him. As the middle child, you must almost spend your entire life with the bully. Only if your parents are not overly devoted to your other two siblings can this be avoided.


Some famous middle children are discussed in this article. Advantages and disadvantages of being a middle child is also discussed. In order to have ideas about middle children, this will be a guide for you.