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Sir Richard Charles Nicholas Branson

Born: 18th July 1950.

Nationality: British.

Occupation: Chairman of


Net Worth: $2.4 Billion.

# Branson was educated at Scaitcliffe
School until the age of 13.

# He then attended Stowe School until he

was 17.
#. 1ST Venture: At the age of 16 he published a magazine
called STUDENT.

#. Started his 1st record business after he travelled across

English channel and purchased crates of “cut-out” records
from record discounter.

#. Eventually started a record shop in Oxford street later

launched record label “Virgin records”.

#.1970 - Starts selling records by mail-order .

#.1971 - Opens his first record shop on Oxford Street.

#.1972 - Opens a Virgin Recording Studio.

#.1973 - Launches Virgin Records record label.

#.1979 - Buys the gay nightclub Heaven, located under

Charing Cross railway station. It is subsequently sold in

2003 to a private speculator.

#.1980 - Virgin Records goes international
#.1983 - Virgin Vision, later to become Virgin
Communications, is formed to distribute films and videos in
the television and broadcasting sector.
#.1983 - Virgin Games is launched.
#.1984 - Virgin Atlantic Airways and Virgin cargo are
#.1984 - Virgin Vision (launched the previous year)
launches "Music Box", a 24-hour satellite music station.
#.1985 - Virgin Group now includes record labels, retail outlets,

exported music publishing, broadcasting, satellite television, and

film and video distribution.

#.1985 - Branson starts Virgin Holidays.

#.1987 - Branson takes Virgin Records to the United States.

#.1987 - The Virgin Group, along with Granada, Anglia and

Pearson, founds BSB (British Satellite Broadcasting) and

receives a UK license to broadcast five new TV channels by

satellite in the UK.

#.1987 - Virgin sets up 525, a post production facility in Los
Angeles, to work on high-end commercials and pop videos.

#.1987 - Virgin sets up "Music Box" as an independent

producer of music programmes.
#.1987 - Virgin buys a 45% stake in Mastertronic Group.
Later Virgin Mastertronic becomes a wholly owned
subsidiary of Virgin Group, creating, marketing and
distributing computer games software and Sega consoles
in several European countries.
#.1987 - Virgin buys Rushes Postproduction in London.

#.1987 - Virgin launches Virgin Airship & Balloon Company.

#.1988 - Virgin re-opens the recently acquired and re-

modeled Olympic Studios in Barnes, London.

#.1988 - Virgin launches Virgin Classics, another Virgin

international record label specializing in high-quality

classical music.
#.1988 - Virgin sells some of its smaller UK retail stores and puts

more money into Virgin Megastores, opening new stores both in

the UK and abroad.

#.1988 - Virgin sets up Virgin Broadcasting.

#.1988 - Virgin Hotels is created, combining three properties: the

Norton House Hotel in Edinburgh, the Crathorn Hall hotel in

North Yorkshire, and the Rhinefield House Hotel in Hampshire.

#.1988 - Virgin sells its shareholding in BSB.

#.1990 - Virgin Megastores arrives in Japan.

#.1991 - Virgin Publishing (Virgin Books) is formed.

#.1992 - Virgin Records is sold to Thorn EMI.

#.1993 - Virgin Radio hits the airwaves with Virgin 1215AM.

#.1994 - Launch of Virgin Vodka and Virgin Cola.

#.1995 - Virgin Direct Personal Financial Services opens

for business.
#.1995 - Virgin Express a European low cost Airline is

launched in Brussels after the purchase and rebranding of

EBA Express.

#.1996 - V2 Music is created.

#.1996 - Virgin.Net launches.

#.1996 - Virgin Brides launches.

#.1996 - Virgin Trains is launched.

#.1996 - Virgin Group becomes majority shareholders in
London Broncos rugby league team.
#.1997 - Virgin Radio is acquired by Chris Evans.
#.1997 - Virgin Cosmetics launches.
#.1999 - Virgin Active Launches in South Africa, UK and
#.1999 - Virgin Mobile launches Virgin's first telecoms
#.1999 - Majority shareholders in London Broncos is sold to
David Hughes.

#.2000 - Virgin launches Virgin Blue.

#.2000 - Virgin sells Rushes Postproduction to Ascent Media -
then Liberty Livewire.
#.2004 - Virgin launches Virgin Galactic.
#.2005 - Virgin Express merges with Sn Brussels Airlines to form
Brussels Airlines. Virgin retains minority share.
#.2005 - Virgin Active UK acquires Holmes Place.
#.2006 - Virgin announces Virgin Fuel, a new company to

produce a clean fuel in the future.

#.2006 - Virgin Active Spain is Launched.

#.2007 - Virgin Active Portugal is Launched.

#.2007 - Virgin launches Virgin Health Bank.

#.2007 - Virgin launches Virgin Media.

#.2007 - Virgin launches Virgin America.

#.2007 - Buys 20% stakes in AirAsia X.
#.2007 - Sells Virgin Megastore in the UK and Ireland.
#.2007 - Virgin Media Television Launchs Virgin 1.
#.2007 - Closes Virgin Digital in the UK (Virgin now sells
music downloads though Virgin Media's website).
#.2007 - Virgin Fuel US$400 million in Virgin Atlantic jet
flight on biofuels and in renewable energy.
#.2007 - Virgin Money becomes preferred bidder for
acquisition of Northern Rock (but is ultimately
#.2007 - Virgin Radio Italia launches in Italy in joint venture with
Gruppo Finelco S.p.A.
#.2008 - Virgin Australia Airlines offers competitive prices
between Australia and Los Angeles. Known as V Australia due to
naming rights.
#.2009 - Named as possible buyer of former Honda F1 team
(later bought by team manager Ross Brawn and renamed Brawn
GP). It was announced at the first race of the season that Virgin
would be a sponsor for the fledgling team, who earnt a one-two
in their first race.
#.In 1990s Branson and musician Peter Gabriel discussed
with Nelson Mandela their idea of small, dedicated group of
leaders, working objectively to solve global conflicts.
#.In September 2007, Richard Branson was the jury of the
first “Picnic Green challenge”.
#.First celebrity guest for the popular charity fund raisers.
Raising $75000 in one evening toward Virgin Unite charity.
#.He took over Mia Farrows hunger strike to protest
Sudanese government expulsion of aid groups from Darfur
#.Branson has guest starred, usually playing himself on
several television shows including Friends, Birds of a
feather, Only fools and Horses.
#.He was the star of a reality television show on Fox called
“The Rebel Billionaire: Bransons Quest for the Best”.
#.He did a lot of cameo roles in several films like Around
the world in 80 days, Casino Royale, Superman returns.
#.Branson is a Star Trek fan and named his new Spaceship
as VSS Enterprise.
#.Branson was knighted in 1999 for “ services to
entrepreneurship” and presented a millennium icon.

#.In 1980s he was briefly given the post of “litter Tsar” by

Margaret Thatcher charged with “keeping Britain tidy”.

#.He was again seen as close to the government when the

Labor Party came to power in 1997.
#.He has frequently been mentioned as a candidate for
Mayor of London, and polls have suggested he would be a
viable candidate, though he has yet to express interest.

#.Branson is a Libertarian.
The Drive Force:

“ My interest in life comes from setting myself huge, apparently

unachievable challenges and trying to rise above them..from
the perspective of wanting to live life to the full, I felt that I had
to attempt it”
#.Richard Branson made several record breaking attempt
after 1985 when in the spirit of the Blue Riband he
attempted the fastest Atlantic Ocean crossing.

#.His first hot-air balloon crossing the Atlantic. It reached

130 miles per hr(209 km/h).
#.In January 1991 Branson crossed the Pacific From Japan
to Arctic Canada, 6700 miles in a balloon of 2,600,000
cubic feet which broke the record with a speed of 245

#.In March 2004, Branson set a record by travelling from

Dover in a Gibbs Aquada in 1hr, 40 mins & 6 secs, the
fastest crossing of the English channel in an amphibious
#.1993: Branson was awarded an honorary degree of
Doctor of Technology from Loughborough University.

#.1999: Knighted for his “services to entrepreneurship”.

#.2000: Received Tony Jannus Award for his

accomplishments in commercial air transportation.
Appears at no 85 on the 2002 list of “100 Greatest Britons”
#.Branson is the patron of several charities, including the
“International Rescue Corps and Prisoners Abroad” a register
charity which supports Britons detained outside UK.

#.Sir Richard was also ranked in 2007s Time Magazine “Top 100
most influential people in the world”.
On 7th December 2007, United Nations Secretary General Ban
Ki-Moon presented Branson with United Nations Correspondents
Association Citizen of the world award for his support toward
environmental and humanitarian causes.


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