Andre Geim won the satirical Ig Nobel Prize in 2000 for his work on using magnetism to levitate a frog. 10 years later, his experiments regarding graphene won him the 2010 Nobel Prize in Physics. This makes him the only ever recipient of both the Ig Nobel and Nobel Prizes.
NBC and AT&T used corporate and government bullying to destroy the life of the inventor of FM radio, leading to his suicide.
The inventor of the Game Boy was originally Nintendo’s janitor; the President of the company happened to walk by and was impressed by a toy he created out of boredom, leading to an illustrious career.