On this day, July 18 in the year 1950, the founder of the Virgin Group was born in London, UK. His name is Richard Branson, one of the top 100 influential Britons. According to forbes.com, his net worth is $4.7 billion.
Richard Branson is the eldest of three children. His father was a barrister while his mother was a ballet dancer and a flight attendant. As a young boy, he suffered from dyslexia. At school, he underperformed and dropped out at the age of 16. His first business venture was a magazine called students which he established with the help of his friends. Later, he set up a mail-order record company.
Together with his friend Nick Powell, Richard established Virgin Records in 1973. They chose the name Virgin to emphasize their lack of business experience especially in the music industry. Yet, the company’s first label by Mike Oldfield was a hit which attracted other singers to its fold. In a short time, Virgin Records became one of the top recording studios in the world.
Profits from Virgin Records allowed Richard to branch out into other businesses such as travel agency, airline, telecommunications and even railways. Ultimately, his financial standing became intractable and he was forced to sell Virgin Records to Thorn EMI for $1 billion in 1992. Today, the Virgin Group encompasses around 400 companies around the world and is engaged in several industries including finance, books, aviation, telecommunications, healthcare, electronics, and music. His latest business adventure is Virgin Galactic whose aim is to put tourists in space.
Richard is married twice and has two children.