Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin brand, was born on July 18, 1950, to his lawyer father and stewardess mother.
(article continues below)
He attended Stowe Public school in England. Being dyslexic and nearsighted did not help him to achieve good grades in school.
His first business venture was a newspaper aimed at the students and teenagers in school. At the time he was only sixteen years of age. Three years later he founded the first of his Virgins, the Virgin mail order record company.
His enterprises were given the name Virgin because it referred to them being virgins in that particular business. Soon after, Richard Branson also opened a record shop in London which eventually helped launch Virgin Records.
Virgin Records is the most successful out of all the Virgin enterprises. It made the Virgin brand well-known and increased Richard Branson's prominence in the business and entertainment industries. Coming into the record industry wasn't easy. There were many established record companies, but Branson continued to be persistent and work hard at getting the Virgin brand exposure.
Fortunately for Virgin Records, a legendary rock band fell into their laps after being turned down by some of the bigger record companies when they started playing. That rock band was none other than The Rolling Stones. This early success led to other musical artists to fall under the Virgin Record label. Such stars included the Sex Pistols, Culture Club, Phil Collins, Janet Jackson and Lenny Kravitz. Now, Virgin Records are one of the true heavyweights in the musical record industry globally.
As exemplified in his dealings in the music industry, Richard Branson seems unfazed by large competitors, especially where there is an advantage for the smaller company. This was also true in Branson's entry into the airline industry with Virgin Atlantic. After more than two decades, Virgin Atlantic can be considered a success.
Currently, Richard Branson is putting his entrepreneurship prowess on the development of Space Ship One. This privately-funded project represents Branson's innovative idea to bring passengers into sub-orbital space as the very first "space tourists." It is his hope that space tourism will become a major industry in the near future.
From a man who once said "the dinosaurs didn't last forever either," his actions have demonstrated that he is not afraid to challenge the status quo to achieve his business and personal objectives. This is the story of a man with a vision that has crafted his entrepreneurial exploits.