According to Forbes, Sir Richard Branson is the 4th richest citizen in the United Kingdom. How did he get so rich? Was it his incredible likability, entertaining personality, good luck, hard work or a combination of all those qualities? Branson has many accomplishments including his own Virgin Atlantic Airways and most notably the Virgin Records music label. He has been knighted by the queen of England, owns his own private 74-acre island and has been ranked as the Top 100 Influential People in the World. His current net worth is $4.2 billion. Branson’s newest business venture is space travel! He wants to launch space tourism with Virgin Galactic. So far he has a list of 500 people who are interested, one of them being Ashton Kutcher.
Richard Branson is known for his over the top adventures and entrepreneurial spirit. He has been involved in a number of record-breaking adventures from ocean crossings to transatlantic hot air balloon rides. He’s had his own reality show called “Rebel Billionaire” and even has a Simpsons character named for him, “Sir Richard.” What most people don’t know about Branson is that he was diagnosed with dyslexia as a youth. He didn’t do very well in school and dropped out at the age of 16 to start his first business venture a magazine called “Student”. In 1970 he set up an audio record mail-order business and in 1972 he opened a chain of stores. Today he has over 100 Virgin Megastores worldwide. By the 1980’s the Virgin brand was a household name. Since its inception the Virgin record label managed talented artists such as the Sex Pistols, Culture Club, the Rolling Stones, and Genesis.
Richard Branson is very involved in multiple philanthropic endeavors. In 2007 he and Nelson Mandela created The Elders, an independently funded group who would use their collective skills to bring about peaceful resolutions to long-standing conflicts. In 2005, Branson launched the Branson School of Entreprenuership in South Africa to improve economic growth in South Africa by matching people with mentors, services, networks and finance arrangements to make their dreams a reality. Most recently he has been involved in Global Commission on Drug Policy with former political and cultural leaders to create more humane and rational drug laws.
Richard Branson is married to Joan Templeman. They have two children Holly and Sam.