Profession: Business Magnate
Why Famous: Best known as the founder of the Virgin Group, English entrepreneur Richard Branson has an estimated worth of $5.2 billion (Forbes 2016).
Branson began his business career young opening music stores in 1971, which he grew into the Virgin Megastore chain. Branson then moved into the recording business starting Virgin Records in 1973.
In 1984 Branson moved into the aeronautic industry starting Virgin Atlantic Airways, then Virgin Publishing in 1991, Virgin Radio in 1993 and Virgin Mobile in 1999. Post 2000, Branson's empire has only expanded with Virgin Healthcare, a Formula One racing team and the spaceline venture Virgin Galactic in 2004.
Branson is also known for his pursuit of distance and speed records, recording the fastest crossing of the Atlantic in 1986 but being just beaten in his attempt to circumnavigate the globe in a balloon in 1998.
- 1972-07-22 Business magnate Richard Branson (22) weds Kristen Tomassi
- 1989-12-20 Business magnate Richard Branson (39) weds Joan Templeman in British Virgin Islands
- 1984-06-22 Richard Branson's Virgin Atlantic Airways commences operations with flight from Gatwick to Newark
- 1986-06-29 Richard Branson aboard Virgin Atlantic Challenger II reaches Bishop Rock, Isles of Scilly, fastest crossing of Atlantic
- 2000-03-30 Richard Branson is knighted by Charles, Prince of Wales for "services to entrepreneurship" at Buckingham Palace, London
- 2006-07-04 Richard Branson sells Virgin Mobile to NTL for £962.4 million