Richard Branson needs no introduction. The British self-made billionaire is one of the most successful entrepreneurs in the world. This is thanks to his hugely successful Virgin Brand; a conglomerate that includes no less than 400 companies. In a world where businessmen are vilified for their exploitative tendencies, Branson has endeared himself to many with his adventurous personality, as well as his humanitarian initiatives.
Undoubtedly one of the most admired billionaires in the world right now, Branson was named among the 100 Most Influential People in The World by Time in 2007. He has received much more recognition for the things he has accomplished as a business person. His resume is decorated with the Golden Plate Award of the American Academy of Achievement and an honorary degree of Doctor Honoris Causa from the Kaunas University of Technology. In all of this, how he made his money has continued to pique the interest of many as much as people have pried on his family life.
He’s The Son Of A Flight Attendant And A Barrister With His Family Heritage Traced To India
Richard Charles Nicholas Branson was born on the 18th of July 1950 in Blackheath, London. His father’s name is Edward James while his mother’s name is Eve. The billionaire entrepreneur has two sisters – Vanessa and Lindy.
It is said that Branson’s parents were very supportive of his endeavours when he was young. This, and the fact that his mother was an entrepreneur, probably encouraged his enterprising spirit. While his mom was a ballet dancer and later worked as an air hostess, she thrived in constructing and selling wastepaper bins and tissue boxes. Her husband (Branson’s father) was a barrister.
In Finding Your Roots, a documentary television series that allows people to see their ancestral histories based on information researched by professional genealogists, Richard Branson’s DNA was proclaimed partly South Asian, Indian to be precise, and through intermarriage. This agrees with his family history as up to four generations of his family, beginning in 1793 when his third great-grandfather left England for India, lived in Cuddalore, located in the Tamil Nadu, an Indian state.
The Business Tycoon Has Been Married Twice
His first marriage was to an American architectural student named Kristen Tomassi. The union lasted for only a few years as it began in 1972 and ended in 1979. Because of how shortlived the marriage was, much isn’t known about it.
However, we can tell that Kristen was born to Joseph H. Tomassi who served Libby, McNeill & Libby, a brand of canned food and beverages as its director of international marketing and development.
His Second Wife Was Married To Ronnie Leahy
Richard Branson found love a second time with a Scottish lady named Joan Templeman. Branson first met Templeman at his Virgin Records studio in 1976. She was there with her record producer husband, Ronnie Leahy, but that didn’t stop Richard from wooing her.
He was immediately taken by her but it took some time for Templeman to reciprocate his affections. Ronnie confronted Branson when he learned of the man’s passion for his wife but that wouldn’t change a thing.
Joan and Richard eventually settled down on Necker Island and commenced a relationship in 1978. They later tied the knot on the 20th of December 1989. It has been claimed in some quarters that Ronnie regards Branson as the man who stole his wife and is unwilling to forgive him for that. If that’s true, it hardly matters for the billionaire as he has built his family around Joan.
The Couple Are Now Parents To Two Kids
Branson and his wife have two kids together. Their first is a daughter named Holly, she was born on the 21st of November in 1981. Holly initially aspired to become a doctor and studied medicine at University College London.
She also worked as a junior doctor before her dad offered her a spot on the Virgin management team. Holly is now an astute businesswoman and philanthropist. She is married to long-time boyfriend, Freddie Andrewes. They have three children together – Etta, Artie, and Lola Snow Templeman Andrewes.
Richard Branson’s second child is a son. Sam was born on the 12th of August 1985. He is an actor and producer, as well as a philanthropist. Sam is married to the English model cum actress, Isabella Calthorpe. They have two children together named Eva Deia and Bluey.
Apart from Holly and Sam, Richard and Joan had another daughter named Clare Sarah; she died in 1979 when she was four days old. In all, Richard has a rich family life just as his business endeavours have been fruitful.
His Wealth Comes From A Conglomerate Of Businesses Under His Virgin Brand Name
Branson spent his formative years in England and attended schools such as the Scaitcliffe School in Surrey, Cliff View House School in Sussex, and Stowe School in Buckinghamshire. While growing up, he suffered from dyslexia and had trouble reading and understanding. His academic performance was therefore poor and at the age of 16, he decided to drop out of school. He thereafter headed to London to pursue his entrepreneurial dreams.
In London, Richard Branson started out by selling Christmas trees, as well as a specie of parrot known as budgerigar. He, thereafter, established a magazine known as Student and later, Virgin Mail Order Records. His business soon expanded to a discount record store and eventually, a music label titled Virgin Records which would go on to become the world’s largest indie record label; Branson will later sell it to EMI in June 1992 for a whopping $1 billion.
Virgin Atlantic Have Apparently Contributed The Most To His 4.3 Billion Net Worth
Richard Branson ranks amongst the billionaires of the world with a net worth estimated at $4.3 billion. Since he first tasted success with Virgin Records, the London-born has not looked back. He has gone on to set up or acquire other lucrative companies, including Virgin Atlantic Airways, Virgin Holidays, Virgin Trains, Virgin Mobile, Virgin Blue, Virgin Fuels, Virgin Comics, Virgin Animation, Virgin Money, Virgin Healthcare, V2, Virgin Hotels, and much more.
Of all his businesses under the British multinational venture capital conglomerate, Virgin Group Ltd., Virgin Atlantic has probably made him more money. But Virgin Galactic is poised to take over in the future. The space tourism company aspires to take paying passengers into outer space. The company will utilize the SpaceShipTwo spacecraft and a journey is priced at $250,000.
The Billionaire Has Led Many Humanitarian Initiatives
Branson is one individual who strongly believes in giving back to society. He has spearheaded several philanthropic initiatives, including Virgin Startup which gave start-up loans to thousands of young entrepreneurs.
Branson is also a sponsor of the International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children. He has organized a humanitarian concert to benefit the Venezuelan people as well. Additionally, the Virgin founder used to be a climate change sceptic. He has, however, repented and pursued initiatives to tackle the menace.