Richard Branson

Richard Branson

Richard Branson
Quick Facts About Richard Branson
Celebrated Name Richard Branson
Age 74 years old
Nick Name Richard Branson
Birth Name Richard Charles Nicholas Branson
Birth Date 1950-07-18
Gender Male
Profession Entrepreneur
Birth Nation England
Place of Birth Blackheath, London
Ethnicity Mixed
Nationality British
Father Edward James Branson
Mother Eve
Siblings Lindy and Vanessa
Net Worth $3 Billion
Salary In millions
Source of Wealth Entrepreneur and Investing Career
Marital Status Married
Sexual Orientation Straight
Wife Joan Templeman
Children Sam Branson and Holly Branson
Height 6 ft (183 cm)
Weight 74 kg (163 lbs)
Hair Color Blonde
Eye Color Blue

Richard Branson is a British business magnate and commercial astronaut who is famous for being the founder of the Virgin Group in the 1970s. The Virgin brand has grown to encompass over 400 companies in various industries. Branson's entrepreneurial journey began early, starting with a magazine called "Student" at the age of 16. He then ventured into the music industry with Virgin Records, later expanding into Virgin Megastores. In the 1980s, he founded Virgin Atlantic Airlines and continued to grow the Virgin brand with the establishment of Virgin Rail Group and Virgin Galactic, the latter being a spaceflight corporation focused on space tourism. Recognized for his contributions, Branson was knighted in 2000 for "services to entrepreneurship" and has become a prominent global figure, listed among the Time 100 Most Influential People in the World. As of June 2023, his estimated net worth is US$3 billion. At the age of 70, Branson made headlines by traveling to the edge of space as a passenger onboard Virgin Galactic Unity 22, becoming the third oldest person to do so in a suborbital test flight.

Who is Richard Branson?

Richard Branson is a businessman, philanthropist, and author known for founding the Virgin Group and numerous successful ventures like Virgin Records, Virgin Mobile, and Virgin Atlantic. He is a prominent global figure, knighted for "services to entrepreneurship," with an estimated net worth of US$3 billion as of June 2023. At 70, he made headlines for traveling to the edge of space with Virgin Galactic Unity 22, becoming the third oldest person to do so.

Richard Branson, born on July 18, 1950, with the birth name Richard Charles Nicholas Branson, hails from Blackheath, London, England, and holds British nationality. He has a mixed ethnicity, with English and some Scottish, German, Welsh, Indian, and Irish ancestry. As of 2023, he celebrated his 73rd birthday. Branson is the son of Edward James Branson, a barrister, and his wife Eve, a former ballet dancer and air hostess. He has two younger sisters, Lindy and Vanessa. Branson's grandfather, Sir George Arthur Harwin Branson, served as a judge of the High Court of Justice and a Privy Councillor. His family has a historical connection to India, with several generations living there, and through intermarriage, he has 3.9% South Asian (Indian) DNA. Branson had a challenging academic experience due to dyslexia and ADHD, but his parents were supportive of his endeavors. He started his entrepreneurial journey in London, and he identifies as an atheist, believing in evolution and the importance of humanitarian efforts but not in the existence of God.

Richard Branson's entrepreneurial journey began with the launch of a magazine named "Student" in 1966 with Nik Powell, after unsuccessful attempts at selling Christmas trees and budgerigars. Despite initial challenges, the magazine became instrumental in promoting Branson's mail-order record business, where he sold records at lower prices than traditional outlets. In 1972, he founded Virgin Records, which gained fame for signing controversial bands and became the world's largest independent record label. Throughout the 1980s, Branson expanded his ventures to include airlines, such as Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Blue, as well as telecoms, railways, and fuel companies. He also established Virgin Mobile and entered the space tourism industry with Virgin Galactic. Over the years, Branson's net worth soared, and he engaged in various philanthropic initiatives and global challenges to address environmental issues.

On January 9, 2008, Virgin Healthcare announced the opening of health care clinics offering conventional medical care and complementary therapies, supported by the UK's health minister. Plans for GPs to refer NHS patients to Virgin services were later abandoned due to concerns about clinical objectivity. In 2009, Virgin sponsored the Brawn GP team in Formula One and later invested in Manor Grand Prix, renaming it Virgin Racing. Branson expanded his business ventures with the launch of Virgin Hotels in 2010. He also invested in drone company 3D Robotics and launched the "Foodpreneur" competition to support food and drink start-ups. In 2012, Virgin Care took over health services previously managed by NHS Surrey. Branson announced plans for an orbital space launch system, LauncherOne. In 2018, Virgin Hotels acquired the Hard Rock Casino Hotel in Las Vegas. In 2021, Branson became the first billionaire founder of a space company to reach the edge of space with Virgin Galactic's VSS Unity spacecraft. However, the COVID-19 pandemic brought challenges to Virgin's businesses, leading to staff unpaid leave and layoffs at Virgin Atlantic.

Richard has made guest appearances on various television shows, often playing himself, including Friends, Baywatch, Birds of a Feather, Only Fools and Horses, and The Day Today. He also had a reality TV show called The Rebel Billionaire: Branson's Quest for the Best, where contestants were tested for entrepreneurship and adventure. Branson has been caricatured and parodied in comic books and animated shows like The Simpsons and 2000 AD's Zenith. He has made cameo appearances in films like Around the World in 80 Days, Superman Returns, and Casino Royale. Branson is a Star Trek fan and named his spaceship VSS Enterprise. He has appeared on various talk shows, including The Colbert Report and The Soup. Branson has also narrated documentaries and appeared in commercials and promotional videos. He released his autobiography, Losing My Virginity, in 1998, and has written articles for publications like Time magazine.

In the 1980s, Branson briefly served as "litter Tsar" by Margaret Thatcher, responsible for keeping Britain tidy. During the 1997 UK General Election, he was interviewed at the Labour Party celebrations. In 2005, he expressed that there were minimal differences between the two main parties on economic matters. He was suggested as a potential candidate for Mayor of London before the 2000 election but did not show interest. In March 2015, Branson advocated for the decriminalization of almost all drug use in the UK, following Portugal's example. He supported British membership in the EU and opposed the 2016 referendum, expressing concern over the impact of the result on his business. Branson endorsed Hillary Clinton in the 2016 US presidential election and openly criticized the Philippine drug war's alleged extrajudicial killings. In October 2022, he declined an invitation to a live television debate in Singapore about the country's approach to drugs and the death penalty, citing the tendency for such debates to focus on personalities rather than the issue itself.

Founder of the Virgin Group, Richard Branson

Richard Branson Awards and Achievements

  • In 1992, Richard Branson received the Golden Plate Award of the American Academy of Achievement. 
  • In 1993, Branson was awarded an honorary degree of Doctor of Technology from Loughborough University. 
  • In the New Years Honours list dated 30 December 1999, Elizabeth II signified her intention to confer the honour of Knight Bachelor on him for his "services to entrepreneurship". 
  • He was knighted by Charles, Prince of Wales on 30 March 2000 at an investiture in Buckingham Palace. 
  • Also in 2000, Branson received the Tony Jannus Award for his accomplishments in commercial air transportation.
  • In 2000, Branson was inducted into the International Air & Space Hall of Fame at the San Diego Air & Space Museum. 
  • Branson appears at No. 85 on the 2002 list of 100 Greatest Britons on the BBC and voted for by the public. Branson was also ranked in 2007's Time magazine's list of the 100 Most Influential People in The World. On 7 December 2007, United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon presented Branson with the United Nations Correspondents Association Citizen of the World Award for his support for environmental and humanitarian causes. 
  • On 24 January 2011, Branson was awarded the German Media Prize (organised by "Media Control Charts"), previously handed to former US president Bill Clinton and the Dalai Lama.
  • On 14 November 2011, Branson was awarded the ISTA Prize by the International Space Transport Association in The Hague for his pioneering achievements in the development of suborbital transport systems with "Virgin Galactic". 
  • On 11 February 2012, Branson was honoured with the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences' President's Merit Award for his contributions to the music industry. 
  • On 2 June 2013, Branson received an honorary degree of Doctor Honoris Causa from Kaunas Technology University in Kaunas, Lithuania. 
  • On 15 May 2014, Branson received the 2014 Business for Peace Award, awarded annually by the Business for Peace Foundation in Oslo, Norway. 
  • On 21 September 2014, Branson was recognized by The Sunday Times as the most admired business person over the last five decades. 
  • On 9 October 2014, Branson was named as the No. 1 LGBT ally by the OUTstanding organisation. 
  • On 29 October 2015, Branson was listed by UK-based company Richtopia at number 1 in the list of 100 Most Influential British Entrepreneurs. 
  • In October 2015, Branson received the International Crisis Group Chairman's Award at the United Nations Development Programme's in Pursuit of Peace Awards Dinner. 
  • On 16 October 2018, Branson received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame under the category of recording for co-founding Virgin Records. The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce placed his star at 6764 Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles, United States. 

Who is Richard Brandon Wife?

Richard Branson is a married man who wed his wife, Joan Templeman, on December 20, 1989, on Necker Island. They have two children, son Sam Branson born on August 12, 1985, and daughter Holly Branson born on November 21, 1981. Unfortunately, their baby girl Clare Sarah Branson, born in 1979, passed away just four days after birth. Richard and Joan first met in 1976 and are happily married. Richard identifies as straight in terms of his sexual orientation. Prior to his marriage to Joan, he was married to Kristen Tomassi in 1972 but divorced her in 1979, and they did not have any children together.

Richard Branson and his wife, Joan Templeman

What is Richard Branson Net Worth?

Richard Branson is an entrepreneur, investor, and philanthropist with an estimated net worth of US$3 billion as of June 2023, according to Forbes. He was listed as one of the Time 100 Most Influential People in the World in 2007. Branson's wealth has grown significantly over the years; his net worth was estimated at £5 million in 1979. As an investor and entrepreneur, he earns millions of dollars annually, and his main sources of wealth come from his investment ventures and entrepreneurial endeavors. With his substantial wealth, Branson leads a lavish lifestyle living in a big bungalow and riding expensive cars. 

How tall is Richard Branson?

Richard Branson is a handsome and slim man with a height of 6 ft (183 cm) and a weight of 74 kg (163 lbs). He has blonde hair, though it has turned gray with his advanced age. His striking blue eyes and signature goatee are some of his distinctive features. Apart from his appearance, it is worth noting that Richard is dyslexic. Richard maintains his body a lot by doing frequent exercise. 

5 Facts About Richard Branson

1. Richard Branson formed Virgin Atlantic Airlines in 1984

Richard Branson played a pivotal role in the formation of Virgin Atlantic Airlines in 1984, a significant milestone in his entrepreneurial journey. With a vision to revolutionize air travel and offer customers a unique and high-quality flying experience, Branson founded the airline as part of the Virgin Group. Alongside Virgin Atlantic, he also established Virgin Cargo in the same year, expanding the scope of his aviation ventures. Building on the success of his airline ventures, Branson further expanded the Virgin brand by introducing Virgin Holidays in 1985, catering to the travel and vacation needs of customers with innovative and customer-centric offerings. These strategic moves cemented Branson's reputation as a trailblazer in the aviation and travel industry, and the Virgin brand continued to grow in popularity and influence.

2. He owns a submarine

Richard Branson, known for his extravagant purchases, takes it to another level with his ownership of a submarine called the Necker Nymph. While other billionaires have expensive means of transportation, Branson's submarine stands out as a unique and fascinating possession. The Necker Nymph can stay submerged for up to two hours, making it an extraordinary addition to his collection of extraordinary toys.

3. He has dyslexia

Despite facing challenges in school and being a high school dropout, Richard Branson's struggles were not due to laziness or lack of intelligence. He had severe dyslexia, which made reading and writing difficult for him. However, he didn't let this hinder his success. Through perseverance and hard work, Branson found ways to overcome his difficulties and eventually achieved remarkable accomplishments. This serves as a testament that success is often a result of continuous effort and determination.

4. He made several world record-breaking attempts 

Branson's adventurous spirit led him to make several world record-breaking attempts starting in 1985. His attempts included the fastest Atlantic Ocean crossing by ship, where his first try in the Virgin Atlantic Challenger led to a rescue by a Royal Navy helicopter after capsizing. In 1986, he succeeded with the Virgin Atlantic Challenger II. He crossed the Atlantic again in a hot air balloon called Virgin Atlantic Flyer in 1987 and broke the record for the Pacific crossing in 1991. Branson and his team also attempted to circumnavigate the globe by balloon between 1995 and 1998. In 2004, he set a record for the fastest crossing of the English Channel in an amphibious vehicle. However, some attempts, like an eastbound record crossing of the Atlantic in 2008, were unsuccessful due to challenging conditions and unexpected setbacks.

5. He is involved in several humanitarian activities

Richard Branson is actively involved in several humanitarian activities. He co-founded The Elders with Nelson Mandela and musician Peter Gabriel, a group of leaders working on global conflicts. He is a founding sponsor of the International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children, aiming to find missing children and stop exploitation. Through the Carbon War Room, he seeks solutions for global warming and energy issues. He founded Virgin Startup to support young entrepreneurs in the UK, and the Branson School of Entrepreneurship in South Africa. Branson has participated in environmental gatherings, hunger strikes, and campaigns for nuclear disarmament. He has been vocal against the death penalty and advocated for LGBTQ+ rights. Branson is a prominent global figure recognized for his philanthropic efforts.