Profile: Sir Richard Branson
Sir Richard Charles Nicholas Branson is an English entrepreneur, best known for his Virgin brand of over 360 companies, including Virgin Records, Virgin Atlantic, Virgin American and Virgin Mobile. Branson's first successful venture was at the age of 16, when he published a magazine called Student. He then set up an audio record mail-order business in 1970. In 1972 he opened a chain of record stores, Virgin Records, later known as Virgin Megastores. In 1972 Branson built a recording studio in Oxfordshire where the first Virgin artist, Mike Oldfield, recorded "Tubular Bells". In 1977 Virgin signed the Sex Pistols and went on to sign many household names from Culture Club to the Rolling Stones, helping to make Virgin Music one of the top six record companies in the world.
With his flamboyant and competitive style, Branson's Virgin brand grew rapidly during the 1980's as he set up Virgin Atlantic and expanded the Virgin Records music label. Branson sold Virgin Records to EMI in 1992 for nearly one billion dollars, to reinvest in Virgin Atlantic.
Branson created his foundation, Virgin Unite, to unite people to tackle tough social and environmental problems in an entrepreneurial way. Virgin Unite’s overhead is covered by Sir Richard Branson and the Virgin Group, meaning that 100% of donations received go directly to the frontline where they are needed most.
Richard Branson was knighted in 1999 by the Queen of England for services to entrepreneurship.
Sir Richard Branson is the 261st richest person according to Forbes 2009 List of Billionaires, with an estimated net worth of approximately £1.5 billion (US $2.5 billion).
Inspired Quote: Don't waste a minute of life. Throw yourself whole-heartedly into it. Don't waste a minute and try to make a positive difference in as many other people's lives as possible.
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