The Rags-to-Riches Story of John Paul DeJoria

On April 13 in the year 1944, one of the most famous entrepreneurs in the hair care business was born California, USA. His name is John Paul DeJoria, the co-founder of Paul Mitchell line of hair products and The Patrón Spirits Company. According to, his net worth is $2.7 billion in August 2021, down from $3.2 billion in October 2017.

John Paul DeJoria
John Paul DeJoria (Photo Credit:

John DeJoria was the second son of an Italian and Greek immigrant couple who divorced when he was two years old. At age nine, his single mother sent him and his elder brother to a foster home in Los Angeles. Then he left the foster home and joined the street gangs. Wonderfully, he was able to finish high school. After that, he found himself doing odd jobs – a janitor then door to door salesman for encyclopedia and insurance. Then he joined the US Navy for two years. After his discharge, he got married, had a son but his wife left him and his son and with all his savings plus unpaid rent for several months. He was evicted by his landlord and for the second time, he found himself homeless.

John DeJoria found work as salesman for hair care products. When he was fired in 1980, he borrowed $700 and partnered with talented hair stylist Paul Mitchell to formed John Paul Mitchell System to market their own shampoo. In due time, he earned enough money to acquire a stake in boutique tequila maker Patrón Spirits. Then as his capital grew, he invested in other industries such as a chain of night clubs, solar energy, gas distribution, diamond trading, farming and motorcycle dealership.

John Paul DeJoria married twice and has four children. He has been very active in philanthropy. In 2013, he appeared in the reality show Shark Tank as a guest investor. In June, 2017, a documentary of his life was released.


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