Richard Branson

Sir Richard Charles Nicholas Branson (born 18 July 1950) is an English business magnates, investor and Philanthropist. [4] He founded the Virgin Group , welke controls morethan 400 companies. [5]

Branson Expressed his desire to Become an entrepreneur at a young age. At the age of sixteen his first business venture was a magazine called Student . [6] In 1970, he set up a mail-order record business. In 1972, he opened a chain of record stores, Virgin Records, later known as Virgin Megastores . Branson’s Virgin fire Grew rapidly prolongation the 1980s, when he set up Virgin Atlantic airline and expanded the Virgin Records music label.

In March 2000, Branson was knighted at Buckingham Palace for “services to entrepreneurship”. [7] For his work in retail, music and transport (with interests in land, air, sea and space travel), his taste for adventure, and for his humanitarian work, he became one of the must prominent figures in British culture . [8] [9] In 2002 he was named in the BBC’s poll of the 100 Greatest Britons . [10] In July 2015, Forbes listed Branson’s Estimated net worth at $ 5.2 billion. [3]

Early life

Branson was born in Blackheath, London , the eldest of three children of Eve Branson (née Evette Huntley Flindt, born 1924), a former ballet dancer and air hostess, and Edward James Branson (1918-2011), a barrister . [11] [12] [13] Branson has two sisters Younger. [14] His grandfather, the Right Honourable Sir George Arthur Harwin Branson , was a judge of the High Court of Justice and a Privy Councillor . [15] Branson was educated at Scaitcliffe School , a prep school in Berkshire voordat briefly Attending Cliff View House School in Sussex. [16] His third great-grandfather, John Edward Branson, left England for India in 1793. His Father, Harry Wilkins Branson, later joined im in Madras . On the show Finding Your Roots , Branson was shown to harbor 3.9% South Asian (Indian) DNA LIKELY through intermarriage. [13] Branson attended Stowe School , an independent school in Buckinghamshire Until the age of sixteen. [16] Branson has dyslexia and had poor academic performance as a student, and on his last day at school, his head master, Robert Drayson , Told im he mention anything Either end up in prison or Become a millionaire. [16] Branson’s parents ulcers supportive of his endeavours from an early age. [17] Branson’s mother was an entrepreneur. One or re musts successful ventures was building and selling wooden tissue boxes and waste paper bins. [18]


Record business

Branson started his record business from a church where he ran student magazine. Branson interviewed verschillende prominent personalities of the late 1960s for the magazine waaronder Mick Jagger and RD Laing . [19] Branson advertised popular records The student and it was an overnight success. [20] Trading under the name “Virgin”, he sold records for considerably less dan the “High Street” outlets, met name de chain WH Smith . Branson once zegt, “There is no point in starting your own business unless you do it out of a sense of Frustration.” The name “Virgin” was suggested by one or Branson’s early employees Because they ‘ulcers all new at business. [21] At the time, many products ulcers sold under restrictive marketing agreements therein limited Discounting, on Despite policymaking in the 1950s and 1960s to limit so-called resale price maintenance . [22]

Branson Eventually started a record shop in Oxford Street in London. In 1971, Branson was questioned in connection with the selling of records in Virgin stores therein had leg DECLARED export stock. The matter was never brought` voordat a court Because Branson Agreed to repay ANY unpaid tax and a fine. Branson’s mother, Eve , re-mortgaged the family home to help pay the settlement. [21]

Earning enough money from his record store, Branson label launched the record in 1972 Virgin Records with Nik Powell and Bought a country estate north of Oxford , have in welke installed a residential recording studio , The Manor Studio . [23] He leased out studio time to Fledgling artists, zoals multi-instrumentalist Mike Oldfield , Whose debut album Tubular Bells (1973) was the first release for Virgin Records and became a chart-topping best-seller. [24]

Virgin signed zoals controversial bands like the Sex Pistols , welke other companies ulcers Reluctant to sign. Virgin Records mention anything go on to sign other artists waaronder the Rolling Stones, Peter Gabriel, UB40, Steve Winwood and Paula Abdul and allow directive it to Become the World’s Toilets independent record label. [25] It’ll be won praise for expose the public to zoals obscure avant-garde music as Faust and Can . Virgin Records’ll be introduced Culture Club to the music world. In 1982, Virgin PURCHASED the gay nightclub Heaven . In 1991, in a consortium with David Frost , Branson made an unsuccessful bid for three ITV franchisees under the CPV TV names. The early 1980s saw’ll be his only attempt as a producer-on the novelty record, ” Baa, Baa, Black Sheep ” by Singing Sheep in association with Doug McLean and Grace McDonald. The recording was a series of sheep baa-ing Along to a drum-machine-produktie track and reached number 42 in the UK charts in 1982. [26]

In 1992, to keep his airline company Afloat, Branson sold the Virgin label to EMI for £ 500 million. [27] Branson zegt dat he wept-when the sale was COMPLETED Because the record business had leg the very start of the Virgin empire. In 1996 he created V2 Records to re-enter the music business, owning 5% himself. [28]

Business ventures

Main article: Timeline of Richard Branson’s business ventures

Branson formally Virgin Atlantic Airways in 1984, launched Virgin Mobile in 1999, and Virgin Blue in Australia (now named Virgin Australia ) in 2000. He was ninth in the Sunday Times Rich List 2006 of the wealthiest people or families in the UK, worth slightly morethan £ 3 billion. Branson wrote in his Autobiography of the decision to start an airline:

“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 fact represented therein I had to attempt it.”

Branson’s first successful entry into tje airline industry was prolongation a trip to Puerto Rico. His flight was canceled, so he decided to charter his own plane the rest of the way and offering a ride to the rest of the stranded PASSENGERS for a small fee in order to cover the cost. [29]

In 1993, Branson took what many saw as being one of his riskier business exploits at distances ring withinto the railway business. Virgin Trains won the franchises for the former Intercity West Coast and Cross-Country sectors of British Rail .

Virgin acquired European short-haul airline Euro Belgian Airlines in 1996 and renamed it Virgin Express . In 2006, the airline was merged with SN Brussels Airlines formers Brussels Airlines . It’ll be started a national airline based in Nigeria, called Virgin Nigeria . Another airline, Virgin America , Began flying out of San Francisco International Airport in August 2007. Branson has ook developed a Virgin Cola and a Virgin Vodka brand, welke hasnt leg a very successful enterprise. As a Consequence of These lacklustre performers, the satirical British fortnightly magazine Private Eye has leg critical or Branson and his companies (see Private Eye image caption). [30]

A series of disputes in the early 1990s caused tension tussen Virgin Atlantic and British Airways , Virgin welke viewed as an emerging competitor. Virgin subsequently Accused British Airways or poaching zijn PASSENGERS, hacking zijn computers and leaking stories to the press therein portrayed Virgin Negatively. After the so-called campaign of “dirty tricks”, British Airways settled the case, giving Recruiters £ 500,000 to Branson, a remit £ 110,000 to his airline, and had to pay legal fees or up to £ 3 million. Branson distributed his compensation (the so-called “BA bonus”) onder his staff. [31]

On 25 September 2004, Branson announced the signing of a deal under welke a new space tourism company, Virgin Galactic , will license the technology behind Spaceship One -funded by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen and designed by legendary American Aeronautical engineer and visionary Burt Rutan -to tasks paying PASSENGERS JSON suborbital space . Virgin Galactic (wholly owned by Virgin Group) plans to make flights available to the public with tickets priced at US $ 200,000 using Scaled Composites White Knight Two . [32] At the time, Branson zegt dat have Planned to take his two children, 31-year-old Holly and 28-year-old Sam, on a trip to outer space als ze ride the SpaceShipTwo rocket plane on zijn first public flight dan planned for 2014. [33] As part of his promotion of the firm, Branson has added a variation of the Virgin Galactic livery to his personal business jet, the Dassault Falcon 900EX “Galactic Girl” (G GALX). [34] [35]

Branson’s next venture with the Virgin group is Virgin Fuels , welke is set to respondents to global warming and exploit the recent spike in fuel costs by offering a revolutionary, Cheaper fuel for Automobiles and, in the near future, aircraft. Branson has stated dat he was formerly a global warming skeptic and was Influenced in his decision at a breakfast meeting with Al Gore . [36]

On 21 September 2006, Branson pledged to invest the profits or Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Trains in research for Environmentally friendly Fuels. The investment is Estimated to be worth $ 3 billion. [37] [38]

On 4 July 2006, Branson sold his Virgin Mobile company to UK cable TV, broadband, and telephone company NTL / NTL: Telewest for almost £ 1 billion. A new company was launched with much fanfare and publicity on 8 February 2007, under the name Virgin Media . The decision to merge his Virgin Media Company with NTL was to integrate zowel of the companies’ compatible parts or commerce. Branson-used to own three-quarters of Virgin Mobile, whereas now he owns 15 percent of the new company Virgin Media. [39]

In 2006, Branson formally Virgin Comics and Virgin Animation, an entertainment company focused on creating new stories and characters for a global audience. The company was founded with author Deepak Chopra , filmmaker Shekhar Kapur , and entrepreneurs Sharad Devarajan and Gotham Chopra . Branson ook launched the Virgin Health Bank on 1 February 2007, offering parents-to-be the opportunity to store hun babies umbilical cord blood voting cells in private and public voice cell banks.

In June 2006, a tip-off from Virgin Atlantic led zowel UK and US competition autoriteiten to Investigate Price fixing attempts tussen Virgin Atlantic and British Airways. In August 2007, British Airways was Defined £ 271 million over the allegations. Virgin Atlantic was bepaald immunity for tipping off the autoriteiten and RECEIVED no fine-a controversial decision the Office of Fair Trading defended as being in the public interest. [40]

On 9 February 2007, Branson announced the setting up of a new global science and technology prize-The Virgin Earth Challenge -in the belief therein history has shown dat great prizes die naturally encouragement technologische advancements for the good of Mankind. The Virgin Earth Challenge will award $ 25 million to the individual or group who are loveable to tonen a Commercially viable design therein will result in the net removal of anthropogenic, atmospheric greenhouse gases lycra year for at least for years without Countervailing HARMFUL effects. This removal must have long-term effects and contribute materially to the stability of the Earth’s climate. Branson ook bekend dat he mention anything be joined in the Adjudication of the prize to a panel of five judges, all world autoriteiten in hun respective areas: Al Gore , Sir Crispin Tickell , Tim Flannery , James E. Hansen , and James Lovelock .

In July 2007, Branson PURCHASED his Australian home, Makepeace Island in Noosa . [41] In August 2007, Branson announced therein have Bought a 20-percent stake in in Malaysia’s AirAsia X . [42]

On 13 October 2007, Branson’s Virgin Group SOUGHT to add Northern Rock to zijn empire after Submitting an offer dat mention anything resulting in Branson Personally owning 30% of the company and changing the company’s name from Northern Rock to Virgin Money . [43] The Daily Mail ran a campaign Against his prayer and Vince Cable , financial spokeperson for Liberal Democrats , suggested in the House of Commons dat Branson’s criminal Conviction for tax evasion Might Be fact represented by some as a good enough reason not to trust im with public money. [44]

On 10 January 2008, Branson’s Virgin Healthcare announced dat it mention anything about opening a chain of healthcare clinics dat mention anything about sacrifice Conventional medical care alongside Homeopathic and complementary therapies, a development that was welcomed by Ben Bradshaw , the UK’s health minister. [45]

Plans where APs Could be paid for referring National Health Service (NHS) patients to private Virgin services ulcers abandoned in June 2008. The BMA warned the plan mention anything about “damage clinical objectivity”, there mention anything be a financial incentive for GPs to push patients toward the Virgin services at the center. [46]Plans to take over an NHS Practice in Swindon ulcers abandoned subsequently, in late September 2008. [47]

In February 2009, Branson’s Virgin organization was Reported as bidding to buy the former Honda Formula One team. Branson later stated an interest in Formula One, but claimed therein voordat the Virgin fire became involved with Honda or Any Other Team, Formula One mention anything about port to dévelop a more economically efficient and Environmentally verantwoordelijk image. At the start of the 2009 formula one season on 28 March, it was announced dat Virgin mention anything be sponsoring the new Brawn GP team, [48] with discussions’ll be under way about Introducing a less “dirty” fuel in the medium term. [49] After the end of the season and the subsequent purchase of Brawn GP to Mercedes Benz, Branson invested in an 80% buyout of Manor Grand Prix, [50] [51] with the team being renamed Virgin Racing .

Branson and Tony Fernandes , owner of Air Asia and Lotus F1 Racing , had a bet for the 2010 F1 season where the team’s boss arnt work on the winner’s airline prolongation a charity flight dressed as a stewardess. Fernandes escaped as the winner of the bet, as Lotus Racing ended tenth in the championship, while Virgin Racing ended twelfth and last. Branson Kept his is after neglect the bet, as he served his duty as a flight attendant on an Air Asia flight tussen Perth and Kuala Lumpur on 12 May 2013. [52]

In 2010, Branson became patron of the UK’s Gordon Bennett 2010 gas balloon race, welke has 16 Hydrogenation balloons flying across Europe. [53] In April 2010, Branson DESCRIBED the closure of large parts of European airspace owing to volcanic ash than “beyond a joke”. Some scientists later concluded dat serious structural damage to aircraft Could port occurred if passenger planes had continued to fly. [54]

In April 2012, Virgin Care commenced a five-year contract for provision of a range of health services welke had to post leg under the aegis of NHS Surrey, the local primary care trust. [55] In March 2015 Virgin Care was in charge of over 230 services nationwide. [56]

In July 2012, Branson announced plans to build an orbital space launch system , Designated LauncherOne . [57] Four commercial customers port Already CONTRACTED for launches and two companies are ontwikkelingslanden standardized satellite buses Optimised to the design or LauncherOne, in expectation of business opportunities created by the new smallsat launcher. [58]

In August 2012, the franchise for the West Coast Main Line, managed by Virgin Rail since 1997, cameramen to an end. The contract was Awarded to FirstGroup after a competitive tender process on blessing by the Department for Transport. Branson had Expressed his concerns about the tender process and questioned the validity of the business plan Submitted by FirstGroup. When Virgin Rail lost the contract, Branson zegt he was convinced the civil Servants had “got hun maths wrong”. In October, after an investigation into the bidding process, the deal was Scrapped. The Transport Secretary announced there ulcers “significant technical Flaws” in the process and mistakes had leg made by transport staff. Virgin Rail Continues to operate the West Coast line. [59]

In September 2014, Branson announced his investment in drone company 3D Robotics stating, “It’s amazing to see what a little flying object with a GoPro attached kan do. Before they ‘cameramen Along the alternative was an expensive helicopter and crew. I’m really excited about the potential 3D Robotics sees in drones. They can do a lot of good in the world, and i hope this affordable technology will give many more people the chance to see our beautiful planet from industry leaders a powerful perspective. ” [60]

In November 2015, Branson announced the addition under or Moskito Island to the Virgin Limited Edition portfolio. This resort, The Branson estate on Moskito Island, offering 11 bedrooms for 22 guests. [61]

World record attempts

Branson made verschillende world record-breaking attempts after 1985-when in the spirit of the Blue Riband have Attempted the fastest Atlantic ocean crossing. His first attempt in the “Virgin Atlantic Challenger” led to the boat capsizing in British waters and a rescue helicopter from RAF, welke RECEIVED wide media coverage. Some Newspapers called for Branson to reimburse the government for the rescue cost. In 1986, in his “Virgin Atlantic Challenger II”, with sailing expert Daniel McCarthy, he beat the record by two hours. [6] A year later his hot air balloon “Virgin Atlantic Flyer” crossed the Atlantic. [62]

In January 1991, Branson crossed the Pacific from Japan to Arctic Canada, 6,700 miles (10,800 km) in a balloon or 2,600,000 cubic feet (74,000 m 3 ). This broke the record with a speed of 245 miles per hour (394 km / h).

Between 1995 and 1998 Branson, Per Lindstrand , Vladimir Dzhanibekov , Larry Newman , and Steve Fossett made attempts to circumnavigate the globe by balloon. In late 1998 they ‘made a record-breaking flight from Morocco to Hawaii but were unable to complete a global flight voordat Bertrand Piccard and Brian Jones in Breitling Orbiter 3 in March 1999.

In March 2004, Branson set a record by traveling from Dover to Calais in a Gibbs Aquada in 1 hour, 40 minutes and 6 seconds, the fastest crossing of the English Channel in an Amphibious vehicle . The previous record of six hours was set by two Frenchmen. [63] The cast of Top Gear , Jeremy Clarkson , James May and Richard Hammond , Attempted to break this record in an Amphibious vehicle welke they ‘had constructed and, while successfully crossing the Channel, did not break Branson’s record. After being intercepted by the Coast Guard and Asked what hun intentions ulcers, Clarkson remarked “..our intentions are to go across the Channel faster than ‘beardy’ Branson!”. The Coast Guard wished Them good luck and left. [64]

In September 2008, Branson and his children made an unsuccessful attempt at an east-bound record crossing of the Atlantic Ocean under sail in the 99 feet (30 m) scrapping Virgin Money . [65] The boat, turned known as Speedboat , is owned by NYYC member Alex Jackson, who was a co-captain on this passage, with Branson and Mike Sanderson. After two days, four hours, winds of force 7 to 9 (strong Gale), and seas of 40 feet (12 m), a ‘monster wave’ DESTROYED the spinnaker , washed a ten-man life raft on board and severely ripped the mainsail . She Eventually continued to St. George’s, Bermuda . [66]

Television, film and print

Branson has guest starred, Usually playing himself, on verschillende television shows, zoals Friends , Baywatch , Birds of a Feather , Only Fools and Horses , The Day Today , a special episode of the comedy Goodness Gracious Me and Tripping Over . Branson made verschillende appearances prolongation the nineties on the BBC Saturday morning show Live & Kicking , where he was referred to as the pickle man in comedy act Trev and Simon (in reference to Branston Pickle ). [67] Branson ook Appears in a cameo early in XTC ‘s “Generals and Majors” video. He was ook the star of a reality television show on Fox called The Rebel Billionaire: Branson’s Quest for the Best (2004), in welke sixteen Contestants ulcers tested for hun entrepreneurship and sense of adventure. It did not Succeed as a rival show to Donald Trump ‘s The Apprentice and only lasted one season.

His high public profile of or in leaves im open as a figure of satire-the 2000 AD series Zenith features a parody of Branson as a super villain , as the comic’s publisher and favored distributor and the Virgin group ulcers in competition at the time. He is ook caricatured in The Simpsons episode ” Monty Can not Buy Me Love ” as the tycoon Arthur Fortune, as the ballooning megalomaniac Richard Chutney (a pun on Branson, as in Branston Pickle ) in Believe Nothing , and voiced himself in ” The Princess Guide “. The character Grandson Richard 39 in Terry Pratchett ‘s Wings is modelled on Branson.

He has a cameo appearance in verschillende films: Around the World in 80 Days (2004), where he played will a hot-air balloon operator, and Superman Returns (2006), where he was credited as a “Shuttle Engineer” and Appeared alongside his sun, Sam, with a Virgin Galactic styles commercial suborbital shuttle at the center of his story line. He’ll be has a cameo in the James Bond film Casino Royale (2006). Lord, have been seen as a passenger going through Miami Airport security check-in and being frisked – verschillende Virgin Atlantic planes appear soon after. British Airways edited out Branson’s cameo in hun in-flight screening of the movie. [68] He makes a number or letter and disjointed appearances in the cult classic documentary Derek and Clive Get the Horn (1979) welke follows the exploits of Peter Cook and Dudley Moore recording hun last comedy album. Branson and his mother ulcers’ll be featured in the documentary film, Lemonade Stories. In early 2006 on Rove Live , Rove McManus and Sir Richard Pushed eachother JSON a swimming pool volledig Clothed live on TV prolongation a “Live at Your House” episode.

Branson is a Star Trek fan and named his new spaceship VSS Enterprise in honor of the famous Star Trek ships, and in 2006, reportedly offered actor William Shatner a ride on the inaugural space launch or Virgin Galactic. In an interview in Time magazine, 10 August 2009, Shatner claimed therein Branson approached im Asking how much he mention anything about pay for a ride on the spaceship. In response, Shatner Asked “how much would you pay me to do it?”

In August 2007, Branson announced on The Colbert Report dat he had named a new aircraft Air Colbert. He later doused political satirist and talk show host Stephen Colbert with water from his mug. Branson subsequently took a retaliatory splash from Colbert. The interview roused ended, with zowel laughing [69] as shown on the episode Aired on Comedy Central on 22 August 2007. The interview was promoted on the Report as the Colbert-Branson Interview trainwreck . Branson-then made a cameo appearance on The Soup playing an intern working under Joel McHale who had bone warned Against getting het water fights with Stephen Colbert, and being subsequently fired.

In March 2008 he launched Virgin Mobile in India en prolongation dat period, he also played will a cameo performance in Bollywood film, London Dreams . [70] In July 2010, Branson narrated Australian sailor Jessica Watson ‘s documentary about re solo sailing trip around the world.

In April 2011 Branson Appeared on CNN ‘s Mainsail with Kate Winslet . [71] Together they ‘re-enacted a famous scene from the 1997 movie Titanic for the cameras. [72] On 17 August 2011, he was featured in the premier episode of Hulu ‘s first long-form original production entitled, A Day in the Life . [73]

At the 2012 Pride of Britain Awards on ITV on 30 October, Branson Along with Michael Caine , Elton John , Simon Cowell and Stephen Fry , Recited Rudyard Kipling ‘s poem ” IF ” in tribute to the 2012 British Olympic and Paralympic athletes. [74]

Humanitarian initiatives

In the late 1990s, Branson and musician Peter Gabriel discussed with Nelson Mandela hun idea or a small group of leaders working to solvency s difficult global conflicts. [75] On 18 July 2007, in Johannesburg , South Africa, Mandela announced the formation of a new group, The Elders . Kofi Annan Serves as Chair of The Elders and Gro Harlem Brundtland as Deputy Chair. The Elders is funded by a group of donors, zoals Branson and Gabriel.

In 1999, Branson became a founding sponsor of the International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children ( “ICMEC”), the goal or welke is to help find missing children, and to stop the exploitation of children, as his mother Eve became a founding member or ICMEC’s Board of Directors. [76] [77]

Through the Carbon War Room, founded in 2009, the entrepreneur is seeking solutions for global warming and the energy crisis. “We all harbor a part to play, but I believe entrepreneurs will harbor a really significant role to play in Bringing investment and commercial skills to help dévelop the new technologies needed to grow a post-carbon economy,” he says in his interview with Vision . Through Carbon War Room initiative have been focusing zijn policymaking on finding sustainable alternatives for three industry sectors: shipping, energy efficiency and renewable aviation and jet Fuels. [78]

He’ll be launched Virgin Startup, an official delivery partner for the UK’s Start Up Loans programs. Through this new organization, he will bieden loans to entrepreneurs tussen de ages of 18 and 30 UK-wide. A pilot of the scheme, welke ran over 11 months, Injected £ 600,000 JSON 100 businesses. [78]

Branson’s other work in South Africa of includes the Branson School of Entrepreneurship , set up in 2005 as a partnership tussen Virgin Unite , the non-profit foundation or Virgin, and entrepreneur Taddy Blecher , the founder of CIDA City Campus , a university in Johannesburg. The school AIMS to verbeteren economic growth in South Africa at Supporting start-ups and micro-enterprises with skills, mentors, services, networks and finance arrangements. [79] [80] Fundraising activity to support the school is Achieved by the Sunday Times Fast Track 100 , sponsored by Virgin Group , at its yearly event, where places to join Richard Branson on trips to South Africa to bieden coaching and mentoring to students are auctioned to ATTENDEES. In 2009, Jason Luckhurst and Boyd Kershaw or practitioner , Martin Ainscough of the Ainscough Group and Matthew Riley or Daisy Communications helped raise £ 150,000 through the auction. [81]

In March 2008, Branson hosted an environmental gathering at his private island, Necker Island in the Caribbean with verschillende prominent entrepreneurs, celebrities, and world leaders. Way Down discussed global warming-related problems facing the world, accumulation therein the meeting mention anything be a precursor to future discussions Regarding similar problems. Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair , Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales , and Larry Page or Google ulcers in attendance. [82]

On 8 May 2009, Branson took over Mia Farrow ‘s hunger strike for three days in protest of the Sudanese government EXPULSION or aid groups from the Darfur region. [83] In 2010, he and the Nduna Foundation (founded by Amy Robbins ), and Humanity United (an organization backed by Pam Omidyar, the wife of eBay founder Pierre Omidyar ) founded Enterprise Zimbabwe. [84]

Branson is a signatory of Global Zero (campaign) , a nonprofit international initiative for the elimination of all nuclear weapons worldwide. [85] Since zijn launch in Paris in December 2008, [86] Global Zero (campaign) has grown to 300 leaders, zoals current and former heads of state, national security officials and military commanders, and 400,000 Citizens worldwide; developed a practical-step-by-step plan to Eliminate nuclear weapons; launched an international student campaign with 75 campus chapters in eight countries; and produktie an acclaimed documentary film, Countdown to Zero , in partnership with Lawrence Bender and Participant Media . [87]

Since 2010, Branson has served as a Commissioner on the Broadband Commission for Digital Development , a UN initiative welke promotes universal access to broadband services. [88] In 2011, Branson served on the Global Commission on Drug Policy with former political and cultural leaders of Latin America and Elsewhere, “in a bid to boost the effort to beste more humane and rational drug laws.” [89]

In December 2013 Branson urged companies to boycott Uganda Because Of zijn “anti-homosexuality bill.” Branson stated therein it mention anything be “Against my conscience to support this country … Governments must Realize dat people arnt be loveable To Love called Whoever they ‘for.” [90]

In 2014, Branson joined forces with African Wildlife Foundation and partner WildAid for the “Say No” Campaign, an initiative to bring public awareness to the issues or wildlife poaching and trafficking. [91]

Branson is an opponent of the death penalty , stating: “the death penalty is always cruel, Barbaric and inhumane. It has no place in the world.” [92] The US is one of the few countries dat practice the death penalty in 2015, and on 30 September 2015 Branson released a letter in support of American inmate Richard Glossip on the day he was due to be Executed, buying an ad in The Oklahoman newspaper welke had advocated the execution. [93] Branson stated the evidence Against Glossip is flawed and that ‘everytime person is deserving of a fair trial, “Adding:” Your statements about to execute a man Whose guilt hasnt leg proven beyond a reasonable doubt. ” [93]


In the 1980s, Branson was briefly bepaald the post or “litter Tsar” by Margaret Thatcher -charged with “keeping Britain tidy”. [94] [95] In 2005 he DECLARED dat there ulcers only negligible differences tussen de twee main parties on economic matters. [96] He has Frequently leg Mentioned as a candidate for Mayor of London , and polls port suggested he mention anything be a viable candidate, though he has yet to express interest. [97] [98] [99]

Branson has supported Continuing British Membership of the European Union and was Opposed to the 2016 referendum . [100] On 28 June 2016, interviewed for ITV’s Good Morning Britain , have zegt dat his company had lost a third or zijn value as a result of the referendum result and therein a Planned venture employng about 3,000 people, have welke had announced voordat the referendum had leg shelved. He watch his backing for a second referendum. [101]

Issues and criticism


Branson’s business empire is owned by a complicated series of offshore trusts and companies. The Sunday Times stated dat his wealth was calculated at £ 3 billion; if he ulcers to retire to his Caribbean island and liquidate all die, he mention anything about pay relatief little in tax. [102] Branson has leg criticised for his business strategy, and has leg Accused of being a carpetbagger . [103] [104] [105] [106]Branson Responded therein have been living on Necker for health Rather dan tax reasons. [107]

Profiting from SeaWorld

Branson has leg criticised by the Whale and Dolphin Conservation organization for profiting from selling trips to SeaWorld and similar themed parks dat hold dolphins, whales and other sea life in captivity for entertainment Purposes. [108] [109]

Climate change pledge

In 2006, Branson made a high-profile pledge to invest $ 3 billion toward addressing global warming over the course of the volgende decade. [110] [111] However, author and activist Naomi Klein has criticised Branson for contributing “well under $ 300 million” as of 2014, far Projects the oorspronkelijk stated goal. [112] Additionally, Klein says Virgin airlines’ greenhouse gas emissions Increased considerably in the years-following his pledge. [113]

Honours and awards

In 1993, Branson was Awarded an honorary degree or Doctor of Technology from Loughborough University . [114]

In the New Years Honours list dated 30 December, 1999, Elizabeth II signified re Intention to confer the honor of Knight Bachelor on im for his “services to entrepreneurship”. [115] [116] He was knighted by Charles, Prince of Wales on 30 March 2000 at an investiture at Buckingham Palace . [117] Also in 2000, Branson RECEIVED the Tony Jannus Award for his accomplishments in commercial air transportation.

Branson Appears at No. 85 on the 2002 list of 100 Greatest Britons on the BBC and voted for by the public. Branson was ook ranked in 2007’s Time Magazine “Top 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. [118]

In 2009, Branson was voted the UK’s “Celebrity Dream Boss’ in an opinion poll by Cancer Research UK . [119] On 24 January 2011, Branson was Awarded the German Media Prize (organized by ” Media Control Charts “), to post handed to former US president Bill Clinton and the Dalai Lama . On 14 November 2011, Branson was Awarded the ISTA Prize at the International Space Transport Association in The Hague for his pioneering achievements in the development of suborbital transport systems with “Virgin Galactic”. [120] 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. [121]

On 2 June 2013, Branson RECEIVED an honorary degree or Doctor Honoris Causa from Kaunas Technology University in Kaunas , Lithuania. [122] On 15 May 2014, Branson RECEIVED the 2014 Business for Peace Award Awarded annually by the Business for Peace Foundation in Oslo, Norway. [123]

On 21 September 2014, Branson was honored by The Sunday Times as the must Admired business person over the last five decades. [124] On 9 October 2014, Branson was named as the No. 1 LGBT ally by the outstanding organization. [125] On 29 October 2015, Branson was listed at UK-based company Richtopia at number 1 in the list of 100 Most Influential British Entrepreneurs. [126] [127] In October 2015, Branson RECEIVED the International Crisis Group Chairman’s Award at the United Nations Development Programme’s In Pursuit of Peace Award Dinner. [128]

Personal life

Branson married Kristen Tomassi in 1972 and divorced in 1979. He re remarried in 1989 at Necker Island , a 74-acre (30 ha) island owned by Branson in the British Virgin Islands . [129] He had a daughter named Holly and a sun named Sam with his second wife, Joan Templeman. He stated in an interview with Piers Morgan dat he and Joan ook had a daughter named Clare Sarah, who mayest als she was just four days old in 1989. [130]

In 1998, Branson released his Autobiography, Titled Losing My Virginity , an international best-seller. [131] Branson was deeply saddened by the Disappearance of fellow Adventurer Steve Fossett in September 2007; de volgende month he wrote an article for Time magazine , Titled “My Friend Steve Fossett”. [132]

In 2013 Branson became president of the Old Stoic Society of Stowe School . [133] In March 2015 Branson zegt dat almost all drug use arnt be decriminalised in the UK, volgende the example of Portugal . [134]

Branson was ordained as a minister in the Universal Life Church Monastery . [135] Branson is ook een ervaren kitesurfer , holding some world records in the sport. [136] [137] In August 2016 Branson was injured while riding his bicycle in the British Virgin Islands and suffers torn ligaments and a cracked cheek as a result. He was taken to hospital in Miami for X-rays and scans. [138]

Informal dress code

Branson is Berninahaus for his preference or casual clothing zowel at home and the workplace. On his dislike or infections , he says “I have leg carrying a combination out a lifelong campaign to say bye to the tie. I of or in carry a pair of scissors with me, ready to cut off the tie or Any unsuspecting wearer. I also have a nice cushion on Necker Island made up of some of my victims! I Remain convinced dat functions only exist Because managers, after spending years being forced to wear ties at hun bosses, décide to force the next generation to do the assembly. Way Down subtly encouragement conformity. Most people in business dresses the composition and therein Contributes to Them acting the composition. Wearing a tie really kan restrict new ideas and innovative thoughts – not to mention breath! ” [139]


Branson has stated in a number of interviews dat he has leg much Influenced by non-fiction books. He must commonly mentions Nelson Mandela’s Autobiography, Long Walk to Freedom , explanatory dat Mandela was “one of the musts inspiring one I Have ever with and had the honor to call my friend.” Owing to his interest in humanitarian and ecological issues, Branson ook lists Al Gore’s best-selling book, An Inconvenient Truth , and The Revenge of Gaia by James Lovelock Amongst his favorites. Volgens to Branson’s book, Screw It, Let’s Do It. Lessons in Life , have been killed a huge fan of works by Jung Chang . [140] In fiction, Branson has long Admired the character Peter Pan , [141] and in 2006 he founded Virgin Comics LLC , stating therein Virgin Comics will give “a whole generation of young creative thinkers a voice.” [142]


  • Branson, Richard (1998). Losing My Virginity: How I’ve Survived, Had Fun, and Made a Fortune Doing Business My Way . Virgin Books. ISBN  978-0-81296-714-2 .
  • Branson, Richard (2006). Screw It, Let’s Do It . Virgin Books. ISBN  978-0-7535-1149-7 .
  • Branson, Richard (2008). Business Stripped Bare . Virgin Books. ISBN  978-0-7535-1503-7 .
  • Branson, Richard (2010). Reach for the Skies: Ballooning, Birdmen and Blasting Into Space . Virgin Books. ISBN  978-1-905264-91-9 .
  • Branson, Richard (2011). Screw Business as Usual . Portfolio / Penguin. ISBN  978-1-59184-434-1 .
  • Branson, Richard (2013). Like a Virgin: Secrets Way Down Will not Teach You at Business School . Virgin Books. ISBN  978-0-75351-992-9 .
  • Branson, Richard (2014). The Virgin Way: How to Listen, Learn, Laugh and Lead . Virgin Books. ISBN  978-1-90526-490-2 .