Richard Branson Biography
Sir Richard Charles Nicholas Branson is a British billionaire, entrepreneur, commercial astronaut, and business magnate. In the 1970s he founded the Virgin Group, which today controls more than 400 companies in various fields.
Richard Branson Age
Branson is 72 years old as of 2022. He was born (Richard Charles Nicholas Branson) on July 18, 1950, in London, UK. Branson celebrates his birthday on the 18th of July every year.
Richard Branson Height
Branson stands at an approximate height of 5 feet 9 inches.
Richard Branson Family
Branson was born in Blackheath, London to his father Edward James Branson (1918–2011), and his mother Eve Branson (née Evette Huntley Flindt; 1924–2021). His father was a barrister. On the other side, his mother was a former ballet dancer and air hostess. Branson was brought up along with his siblings, younger sisters, Lindy Branson and Vanessa Branson. His grandfather, Sir George Arthur Harwin Branson, was a judge of the High Court of Justice and a Privy Councillor.
Branson’s great-great-great-grandfather, John Edward Branson, left England for India in 1793; John Edward’s father, Harry Wilkins Branson, later joined his son in Madras. Starting from 1793, four generations of Branson’s family lived in India, mostly at Cuddalore Tamilnadu. On the show Finding Your Roots, Branson was shown to have 3.9% South Asian (Indian) DNA, likely through intermarriage. Later, he stated that one of his great-great-great-grandmothers was an Indian named Ariya.
Richard Branson’s mother
Branson’s mother Eve died from COVID-19 complications in January 2021 at the age of 96. A celebration of her life was posted online by her son.
Richard Branson Wife
Branson married his first wife Kristen Tomassi. The two tied the knot in 1989 on Necker Island and divorced in 1979. They had no children together. He met his second wife Joan Templeman in 1976 and began a relationship with her. The two are proud parents to their children Clare Sarah born in 1979 but died only four days after birth, Holly born in 1981, and Sam who was born in 1985. Branson’s Necker Island home was left uninhabitable after Hurricane Irma in 2017. The also had damage after it caught fire when it was struck by lightning caused by Hurricane Irene in 2011.
Richard Branson Grandchildren
Branson is blessed to be a grandfather. He has five grandchildren including Bluey Rafe Richard Branson. His daughter Holly gave birth to twins Etta and Artie and his son Sam and his wife Isabella Calthorpe gave birth to a daughter Eva-Deia Branson. Eva-Deia joins December-born twins Etta and Archie in the ever-growing gaggle of Richard’s grandchildren.
Richard Branson’s Net Worth
Branson has an estimated net worth ranging between $1 Million – $5 Million which he has earned from his successful career as a billionaire, entrepreneur, commercial astronaut, and business magnate.
Richard Branson Education
Branson was educated at Scaitcliffe School, a prep school in Surrey. He also attended Cliff View House School in Sussex. In addition to that, Branson attended Stowe School, an independent school in Buckinghamshire until the age of sixteen.
Richard Branson Career
He developed the desire to be an entrepreneur at a young age. At 16 years old, he had his first business venture, a magazine called Student. He set up a mail-order record business in 1970. In 1972, he opened a chain of record stores, Virgin Records—later known as Virgin Megastores. It grew rapidly during the 1980s, as he began the Virgin Atlantic airline and expanded the Virgin Records music label. During the privatization of British Rail in 1997, he founded the Virgin Rail Group to bid for passenger rail franchises.
From 1997 to 2019, the Virgin Trains brand operated the InterCity West Coast franchise, the InterCity East Coast franchise from 2015 to 2018, and the InterCity CrossCountry franchise from 1997 to 2007. In addition, he founded the spaceflight corporation Virgin Galactic in 2004, based at Mojave Air and Space Port in California, noted for the SpaceShipTwo suborbital spaceplane designed for space tourism.
In March 2000, Branson was knighted at Buckingham Palace for “services to entrepreneurship”. He was placed in the Time 100 Most Influential People in the World list in 2007. Branson traveled as a passenger onboard Virgin Galactic Unity 22 at the edge of space, a suborbital test flight for his spaceflight company Virgin Galactic. The mission lasted approximately one hour, reaching a peak altitude of 53.5 miles (86.1 km). At 70, he became the third oldest person to fly to space.
In 2007, Branson was ordained as a minister by the Universal Life Church Monastery to conduct an on-flight wedding as part of a marketing effort for domestic flights in the USA on Virgin America airline. From 2013 to 2017, he served as President of the Old Stoic Society of Stowe School.
Richard Branson Sexual Assault
In November 2017, singer Antonia Jenae, a backing singer for Joss Stone, claimed Branson sexually assaulted her at Necker Island by “putting his head between her cleavage and making boat engine noises”, a practice that, when performed consensually, is known as motorboating. A spokesperson for Branson confirmed to The Sun newspaper that members of the band had been invited to a party on the island in 2010, but that he and friends and family in attendance had “no recollection” of the events and that “there would never have been any intention to offend or make anyone feel uncomfortable. Richard apologizes if anyone felt that way.”
Richard Branson Dyslexia
Branson has dyslexia and poor academic performance. On his last day at school his headmaster, Robert Drayson, told him he would either end up in prison or become a millionaire. In addition to that, he talked openly about having ADHD. His parents were supportive of his endeavors from an early age. In London, he started off squatting from 1967 to 1968. His mother was an entrepreneur; one of her most successful ventures was building and selling wooden tissue boxes and wastepaper bins.
Richard Branson Sports
Branson is an experienced kitesurfer. He has set two world records in the sport. The first one, he is an avid cyclist. Unfortunately, he was injured in August 2016 while riding his bicycle in the British Virgin Islands, resulting in torn ligaments and a cracked cheek. The second was as the oldest person to kitesurf across the English Channel and in 2014 he broke the Guinness World Record for most people riding a surfboard by kiting with three women attached to him, including professional kiteboarder Susi Mai and entrepreneur Alison Di Spaltro.
Richard Branson Tax evasion
He was convicted and jailed for tax evasion, having fraudulently obtained export documents for records to be sold on the domestic market to avoid paying Purchase Tax. Customs officials caught onto the scheme and executed a sting operation, marking records bought for the international market with invisible ink and subsequently buying them on the domestic market. An anonymous tip-off advised Branson of the sting and attempted to dispose of the evidence, but this was unsuccessful.
Branson described himself as a “tax exile”, having saved millions in tax by ending his mainland British residency and living in the British Virgin Islands. This was echoed by the then Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer, Labour’s John McDonnell, in 2016, amid calls for his knighthood to be revoked.
Richard Branson Failed Business Ventures
Branson has been involved in a number of failed business ventures, such as Virgin Cola, Virgin Cars, Virgin Publishing, Virgin Clothing, and Virgin Brides. However, he holds an optimistic view of failure. He has written: “I suppose the secret to bouncing back is not only to be unafraid of failures but to use them as motivational and learning tools… There’s nothing wrong with making mistakes as long as you don’t make the same ones repeatedly.
Richard Branson Shark Tank
Shark tank was a Reality television show which aired on August 9, 2009, on ABC. The show is the American franchise of the international format Dragons’ Den, which originated in Japan as Money Tigers in 2001. It shows entrepreneurs making business presentations to a panel of five investors or “sharks”, who decide whether to invest in their companies.
He was a guest judge on Shark Tank. Branson made three offers on the show to three fantastic businesses: Locker Board, Sierra Madre Research, and Grypmat. Aspiring entrepreneurs from around the world pitch their business models to a panel of investors and persuade them to invest money in their idea.
Richard Branson Awards and Honors
- In 1992, Branson received the Golden Plate Award from the American Academy of Achievement.
- In 1993, Branson was awarded an honorary degree of Doctor of Technology from Loughborough University.
- In the New Year’s Honours list dated 30 December 1999, Elizabeth II signified her intention to confer the honor 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 was voted for by the public. Branson was also ranked in the 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 (organized 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 developing suborbital transport systems with “Virgin Galactic”.
- On 11 February 2012, Branson was honored 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 businessperson over the last five decades.
- On 9 October 2014, Branson was named the No. 1 LGBT ally by the OUTstanding organization.
- On 29 October 2015, Branson was listed by UK-based company Richtopia as number 1 in the 100 Most Influential British Entrepreneurs list.
- In October 2015, Branson received the International Crisis Group Chairman’s Award at the United Nations Development Programme’s 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 its star at 6764 Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles, United States.