Richard Branson: Biography, Networth, family life, achievements
A high school dropout who is now among the wealthiest business titans in the world is Richard Branson. He is the founder and chairman of the prestigious Virgin Group, and his record of entrepreneurship is unmatched. Virgin Group, which began as a little store called Virgin Records that sold music recordings, now owns more than 400 businesses. Virgin Megastores, Virgin Atlantic Airlines, and many more were added as the business eventually grew. This billionaire, who is currently the fourth richest man in the United Kingdom and one of the ten most important persons in the world, has a net worth of US$ 4.2 billion. Aside from his newsworthy profession, he has also acted in a number of television shows and played himself in a few films. He starred in the reality series “The Rebel Billionaire: Branson’s Search for the Best” and made appearances in the films “Casino Royale” and “Around the World in 80 Days.” Branson, a devoted Star Trek enthusiast, received praise from critics and an international bestseller for his autobiography, “How I Lost My Virginity.” He has received various honors and currently serves as a patron for a number of international charities, including “Prisoners Abroad” and “International Rescue Corps.”
The son of barrister Edward James Branson (1918-2011) and his wife Eve Branson (née Evette Huntley Flindt; 1924-2021), a former ballet dancer and air hostess, Branson was born on July 18, 1950, in Blackheath, London. Vanessa and Lindy Branson are his two younger sisters. His paternal grandfather, Sir George Arthur Harwin Branson, served as a Privy Counsellor and judge on the High Court of Justice.
John Edward Branson, Branson’s great-great-great-grandfather, emigrated to India from England in 1793; Harry Wilkins Branson afterwards joined his son in Madras. Four generations of Branson’s family resided in India beginning in 1793, primarily in Cuddalore, Tamil Nadu. Branson’s 3.9% South Asian (Indian) DNA was revealed on the television program Discovering Your Origins, most likely as a result of intermarriage. Eventually, he revealed that Ariya, an Indian, was one of his great-great-great-grandmothers. Before temporarily attending Cliff View House School in Sussex, Branson had his education at Surrey’s Scaitcliffe School, a prep school. Up until the age of sixteen, he went to Stowe School, a private institution in Buckinghamshire.
Branson, who has dyslexia and had poor academic achievement, was informed by his headmaster, Robert Drayson, on his last day of school that he would either go to jail or become rich. Branson has freely acknowledged having ADHD. From an early age, Branson’s parents encouraged his endeavors. His mother was an entrepreneur, and making and selling wooden tissue boxes and trash cans was one of her most lucrative businesses.
Early business career
After attempting to raise and sell both Christmas trees and budgerigars, Branson and Nik Powell founded the magazine Student in 1966. The first edition of Student was published in January 1968, and Branson’s wealth was projected to be £50,000 a year later. The venture’s office was located in the crypt of St. John’s Church in London, off Bayswater Road. The magazine eventually became a crucial part of the mail-order record company Branson founded from the same chapel he used for Student, despite initially not being as profitable as he had intended. Branson increased his record sales by using the magazine to promote well-liked albums. For the journal, he conducted interviews with a number of well-known figures from the late 1960s, including Mick Jagger and R. D. Laing. After convincing Powell that the staff was against his plans to convert the publication into a cooperative, Branson assumed complete control of Student.
His company offered recordings for a significant discount compared to “High Street” stores, particularly the retailer WHSmith. There is no purpose in starting your own firm unless you do it out of frustration, according to a quote from Branson. Several goods were being sold at the time with restrictive marketing agreements that limited discounting, despite efforts in the 1950s and 1960s to limit retail price maintenance.
Branson eventually opened a record store in London’s Oxford Street. He was questioned in 1971 for the sale of records that were designated as export stock. Because Branson agreed to pay any unpaid purchase tax of 33% and a £70,000 fine, the case was never taken before a court. In order to contribute to the settlement, his parents remortgaged the house.
In 1972, Richard Branson wed Kristen Tomassi. However, the couple split in 1979; they were childless. He began dating Joan Templeman in 1976 after they first met. Richard Branson had three kids with Templeman. Sadly, four days after delivery, his first child with Templeman passed away. But Holly (the daughter) and Sam (the son), the subsequent children, live. Once Holly and Sam were born, Branson married Templeman in 1989 in his home on Necker Island. In January 2021, Richard Branson’s mother passed away due to Covid-19, when she was 96 years old. Her son published a memorial online in her honor. Branson currently resides on Necker Island with his family.
Branson is an accomplished kitesurfer who has broken two world records. The oldest individual to kitesurf across the English Channel came in first. Later in 2014, when kiting with three ladies hooked to him, including professional kiteboarder Susi Mai and businesswoman Alison Di Spaltro, he broke the Guinness World Record for the most persons riding a surfboard. He is a passionate rider as well, and in the British Virgin Islands, he suffered a bicycle accident in August 2016 that left him with torn ligaments and a cracked cheek.
- In 1972, Richard Branson established a tiny recording studio in Oxfordshire, England, during the music-drug scene of the early 1970s in the UK. Mike Oldfield, who recorded the tune “Tubular Bells,” was the first artist signed to the Virgin Records label.
- Following Oldfield’s success, he signed the Rolling Stones, the Sex Pistols, and the Culture Club to Virgin Records. Virgin Records would soon become one of the best record labels in the world thanks to these groups.
- With the success of Virgin Records, he broadened his commercial pursuits and founded the Voyager Group, his own travel business, in 1980.
- He grew his company in 1984 and launched his own airline group, “Virgin Atlantic,” along with a number of Virgin Megastores in the years that followed. He did not always experience success, and his firms occasionally ran into cash flow issues.
- In 1992, The Virgin Group experienced financial difficulties and was ultimately sold to THORN EMI for $1 billion. He was saddened but kept working in the music industry.
- In 1996, he founded another record label called V2, which is still in business today and has signed performers like Tom Jones and PowderFinger.
- He stated on September 25, 2004, that he was enlisting the help of Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen and Burt Rutan to launch a new space tourism business dubbed “Virgin Galactic.”
- In 2004, he served as a judge for the reality competition “The Rebel Billionaire: Branson’s Search for the Best,” in which 14 contestants had their business skills put to the test. He also had a cameo appearance in “Around the Globe in 80 Days” that same year.
- On February 1, 2007, Branson established the Virgin Health Bank, ensuring that expectant parents may preserve stem cells for the future. Also, it gives parents the choice to store the umbilical cord of their child.
- He endorsed the Gordon Bennett Gas Balloon Race in 2010, which sent over 16 balloons soaring across Europe.
- He declared in July 2012 that he will launch LauncherOne, an orbital space launch.
- He was presented the United Nations Correspondents Association Citizen of the World Award for his contributions to humanitarian causes on December 7, 2007.
- He was awarded the ISTA Prize by the International Space Transport Association for his contributions pertaining to space transport systems on November 14, 2011
- In 2012, he was ranked the 4th richest citizen of the United Kingdom in the list of billionaires.
Branson’s Net worth
Richard Branson’s net worth is expected to be around $5.1 billion in 2023. The majority of Branson’s wealth was earned through the development of his multinational conglomerate “Virgin” brand, which has become a dominant force in numerous industries.
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