Home > Categories > Business > Business > Sir Richard Branson's Biography

Sir Richard Branson's Biography

Browse biogs A-Z

Virgin founder, Sir Richard Branson was born on 18 July 1950 in London, England.

Richard Branson's father Edward was a magistrate and barrister and his grandfather was a judge.

Richard Branson went to Stowe School, but he hated it. At just 16, he took his first entrepreneurial step when he started the national student magazine, The Student, with offices in the crypt of a church.

Student lost money and in its last issue Branson offered cut-price records and so started the Virgin Mail Order Company.

In 1971, Richard Branson spent a night in jail after his practices met with the disapproval of HM Customs & Excise. He was bailed and fined £60,000.

Branson expanded his musical interests in 1972 when he established the Virgin Records music label.

Their first artist was Mike Oldfield, who failed to get taken up elsewhere and his Tubular Bells proved a huge success.

The Times reported how Richard Branson had a Bentley that he gave to Mike Oldfield in exchange for Oldfield performing Tubular Bells at a concert in London.

Over the years the Virgin empire expanded into numerous industries including airlines, rail travel, media, mobile phones, and finance, and would lead to Richard Branson becoming one of the highest net worth individuals in the UK.

One of Richard Branson's first media interests was Virgin Radio, which he established in 1993 before selling it to the DJ Chris Evans.

Sir Richard Branson has engaged with his adventurer streak with failed and successful travelling record attempts by boat, by hot air balloon, and by an amphibious vehicle.

Virgin and Richard Branson also supported Steve Fossett in his record-breaking solo non-stop flight in the Virgin Atlantic Global Flyer around the world without refuelling.

In 2000, Richard Branson was knighted.

In September 2006, the BBC reported on Sir Richard Branson's decision to donate 10 years' profits from his Virgin travel businesses to the fight against global warming.

In the 2016 Sunday Times Rich List they estimated Richard Branson's net worth at £4.52 billion, making him the 19th richest person in Great Britain.

Richard Branson is married to Joan Templeman. His first wife was Kristen Tomassi.

He owns Necker Island.

Back to Top

Latest User CommentsAdd your comment
Add your comment
To ensure you are a real person and not a computer please enter the following characters shown below: