Sir Richard Branson is Britain’s headline-grabbing billionaire and a world-renowned entrepreneur and investor. He is the founding father of Virgin Records, Virgin Galactic, Virgin Atlantic Airways, as well as more than 200 Virgin-branded enterprises. He is one of the people who have been mentioned on the Forbes list of billionaires time and again, and his current wealth is estimated to be $4.6 billion as of March 2013.
Net Worth: $4.6 Billion
Source: Virgin Enterprises, self-made
Born: July 18, 1950 (Age 63)
Country of Citizenship: United Kingdom
Marital Status: Married
Sir Richard Nicholas Branson is a world-renowned entrepreneur and a self-made billionaire. He was born on July 18, 1950 in Surrey, England to Edward James Branson and Eve Branson. He is the head of the Virgin Empire that comprises of successful companies such as Virgin Records, Virgin Atlantic Airways and the very recent Virgin Galactic, a space-tourism company.
There are also over 200 Virgin-branded enterprises in more than 30 countries that are under the ownership and control of this self-made billionaire. Besides his wealthy status, he is also well known for his adventurous spirit and sporting accomplishments, including crossing oceans in a hot air balloon.
Branson’s Business Ventures
Branson’s career began when he was 16 years old after dropping out of high school. He started a youth-culture magazine called ‘The Student’, a publication that was run by students for the students. This magazine was launched in 1966 and its first edition managed to sell $8,000 worth of advertising.
In 1972, Branson started a recording studio known as Virgin Records in Oxfordshire, England. He managed to sign up aspiring music groups to his music label, including the Rolling Stones, the Culture, the Genesis and various others, making Virgin Records one of the top music recording companies in the world.
In 1980, Branson enhanced his entrepreneurial efforts and founded a travel company known as the Voyager Group. Four years later, he founded the airline Virgin Atlantic, as well as a series of Virgin Megastores. In 1993, he founded a radio station known as Virgin Radio, and several years later he started another music recording company known as V2.
Richard Branson has never been shy to showcase his ever-adventurous nature and in recent years, he has shifted much of his attention to building a space tourism company known as Virgin Galactic. Over 500 people had bought tickets for Virgin Galactic’s voyages by April 2013.
Honors and Awards
Branson was awarded an honorary degree of Doctor of Technology in 1993 from Loughborough University. In 2000, Charles, Prince of Wales knighted him during an inauguration in Buckingham Palace. Later that year, Branson was given the Tony Jannus Award basically for his achievements in commercial air transportation.
Branson has featured in various lists of influential persons not only in the United Kingdom, but in the world as well. In 2002, he was featured in the list of the ‘100 Greatest Britons’, and in 2007 he was ranked among the top 100 most influential people in the world. He was also voted the Celebrity Dream Boss in the UK in 2009.
In 2007, Branson was presented with the United Nations Correspondents Association Citizen of the World Award by the Secretary General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-Moon. This award was given purposely for his support for humanitarian and environmental causes. In 2011, he acquired the German Media Prize, which was formerly awarded to Dalai Lama and also to the former US President, Bill Clinton.
In 2011, the International Space Transport Association awarded Branson with the ISTA Prize for his ground-breaking accomplishments in the advancement of suborbital transport systems. His involvements in the music industry haven’t been unnoticed as he has earned the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences’ President’s Merit Award. On June 2013, the Kaunas Technology University awarded him with an honorary degree of Doctor Honoris Causa.
Richard Branson is married to Joan Templeman, whom he married in 1989. He has one son and a daughter. He resides in London, England with his family.
Sir Richard Branson has many quotes and the most famous ones include: -