Sir Richard Branson

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Richard Branson

Richard Charles Nicholas Branson was born in Surrey England on the eighteenth of July, 1950.  His father was a lawyer and his mother a flight attendant. Richard dropped out of school at the age of 16 (as he was struggling due to dyslexia) and started his own magazine called Student, which was very successful, selling $8,000 in advertising its first edition. Four years later, Mr. Branson started a record mail-order business which he named Virgin.  And in 1972, he opened his first Virgin record store in London, England. With the proceeds from this record store, he opened his own recording studio under the Virgin name, and among the artists recording there, were some very big names such as: Genesis and the Rolling Stones.

As the popularity of his record stores grew he began to branch out into other areas such as Virgin Atlantic Airways, and he started a chain of Virgin Record Mega Stores. Unfortunately, in the nineties, several of his businesses were losing money. Mr. Branson was in severe financial trouble by 1992, and was forced to sell Virgin records.  Mr. Branson was deeply saddened by the loss of his company, but rather than give up he started again and purchased a radio station Virgin Radio.  A few years later he founded a second company V2 and in 1996 opened another recording studio and more record stores. He founded Virgin mobile in 1999 and Virgin Blue in 2000. This time, all of his businesses flourished.

In 1999, the Queen was impressed by his entrepreneurial efforts and added his name to the top of a millennium honors list. He was knighted the following year. Today Sir Richard Branson is a multi billionaire, and his Virgin group owns more than 200 businesses in over 30 countries with largest holdings in England, the US and Australia.  The myriad of companies owned by Virgin include: multiple airways, trains, mega record stores, a credit card company, a mobile phone service provider, a game reserve in Africa and a new US based aerospace company.

Lucinda Choules

References

(1) Sir Richard Branson. (2012). Biography.com. 05:02. Retrieved Jul 23, 2012, from http://www.biography.com/people/richard-branson-9224520

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