Richard Branson Net Worth: How Did He Become a British Business Tycoon?
Richard Branson is a British business tycoon who founded the Virgin Group, which now owns more than four hundred different enterprises.
Branson began with a modest record store and expanded it into a global force, making him a billionaire and one of the wealthiest persons in Britain and the world.
Early Life of Richard Branson
Branson’s birthday is July 18th, and he was born in London, England. His mother was a flight attendant, his father a lawyer, and he had two younger sisters.
After having difficulty concentrating and succeeding in school, Richard Branson decided to leave at the age of 16 in order to follow his passion for business.
Career of Richard Branson
Richard Branson dropped out of college in 1966 to launch his magazine, The Student. Branson conducted interviews with various famous people for the magazine, which became a huge hit.
He started placing ads in the magazine for well-known records and soon discovered his calling. Since then, he has done business under the Virgin moniker, and this magazine was the first to feature an ad for his company.
Soon after the success of the first record store, which was located in Oxford, London, the Virgin Record Label was founded.
Branson branched out into new fields after the success of Virgin Records. Virgin Atlantic Airways, created by him in 1984, is his most famous and profitable business.
Branson was charged with “keeping Britain neat” by Margaret Thatcher, who appointed him “litter Tsar” for a short time in the 1980s. Branson was interviewed at the Labour Party celebrations at the Royal Festival Hall for BBC coverage of the 1997 UK General Election. It was 2005 when he first made the claim that the two major parties’ economic views were so similar that they might as well be identical. The polls showed that he would have been a strong candidate for Mayor of London in the first election in 2000, but he never ran for the position.
Branson advocated for the decriminalisation of nearly all drug use in the United Kingdom in March 2015, citing Portugal as an inspiration.
Branson opposed the 2016 referendum and favoured Britain’s continued EU membership. On 28 June 2016, he was questioned on ITV’s Good Morning Britain and said that as a result of the referendum decision, his company’s value had dropped by a third and that a project that would have employed more than 3,000 people had been scrapped. He declared his support for a new vote. While campaigning for the 2016 US presidential election, Branson supported Hillary Clinton, the Democratic nominee.
In October 2022, after Branson voiced his opposition to the death penalty for drug-related offences, the government of Singapore invited him to take part in a live television debate over the country’s stance on drugs and the death penalty. But Branson politely declined, explaining that debates of this sort tend to centre on the participants rather than the subject at hand.
Personal Life of Richard Branson
In 1972, Branson wed Kristen Tomassi, although they later split up in 1979. He married his second wife, Joan Templeman, in 1976, and they have two children together: a girl named Holly (born in 1981) and a son named Sam (born in 1985). They tied the knot in 1989 on Necker Island. He revealed that he and Joan had a daughter named Clare Sarah, who tragically passed away at the age of four in 1979, in an interview with Piers Morgan.
After Hurricane Irma hit Necker Island in 2017, Branson was forced to evacuate his property. It was the second time lightning from Hurricane Irene had severely damaged Branson’s Necker Island home; the first time was in 2011 when the house caught fire.  Branson’s mother Eve died of complications from COVID-19 in January 2021, at the age of 96. Her son shared an online eulogy to honour her life and legacy.
As part of a publicity stunt to promote Virgin America’s domestic flights in the United States, Branson had himself ordained as a minister by the Universal Life Church Monastery in 2007. He led the Stowe School chapter of the Old Stoic Society as president for five years, from 2013 to 2017.
Backing vocalist Antonia Jenae accused Branson of sexually assaulting her on Necker Island in November 2017. She said he “placed his head between her cleavage and made boat engine noises,” which is what is meant by the term “motorboating” when it is done voluntarily. A representative for Branson told The Sun that band members were invited to a party on the island in 2010, but that Branson and his friends and family who attended the party had “no recollection” of the events and that “there would never have been the intention to offend or make anyone feel uncomfortable. Richard apologises if anyone felt that way.”
Branson has broken two kitesurfing world records and is a seasoned pro in the sport. In the first, he set a record by kitesurfing across the English Channel at the age of 69. Then, in 2014, he kited with three women attached to him to break the Guinness World Record for most people riding a surfboard. These women included professional kiteboarder Susi Mai and entrepreneur Alison Di Spaltro. In August of 2016, he was injured while cycling in the British Virgin Islands, suffering torn ligaments and a cracked cheek.
Richard Branson has 12.6 million Twitter followers, 123 thousand YouTube subscribers, 4.6 million Instagram followers, and 4.5 million Facebook likes. That adds up to a whopping 21.8 million people who are following you on social media.
Richard Branson has his own 74-acre island in the British Virgin Islands, which you may have heard of.
Named “Necker” by some, “Island” by others. He paid $180,000 for it in 1976, and since then, it has been transformed into a luxurious resort. Valued at over $200 million.
The Lodge, his nine-bedroom lodge in the Swiss Alps, is a popular place for A-listers to vacation.
And then there’s the Mallorca, Spain, real estate he bought in 2015. At a cost of $14.3 million, Branson has purchased a sprawling estate with the intention of developing it into an eco-friendly resort.
Winner of the American Academy of Achievement’s Golden Plate Award.
Loughborough University conferred an honorary Doctor of Technology degree on him.
A knighthood investiture was held at Buckingham Palace with Charles, Prince of Wales, as the presiding officer.
Was honoured with the Tony Jannus Award for contributions to the commercial airline industry.
Participated in the San Diego Air & Space Museum’s International Air & Space Hall of Fame induction ceremony.
Time magazine included Branson in its list of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2007.
Branson was honoured with the United Nations Correspondents Association Citizen of the World Award by Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon for his dedication to helping the planet and its people.
Former U.S. President Bill Clinton and the Dalai Lama were also honoured with the German Media Prize (organised by “Media Control Charts”) before its inception in 2002.
In recognition of his ground-breaking work on suborbital transportation technologies with Virgin Galactic, he was presented with the ISTA Prize at the International Space Transport Association’s annual conference in The Hague.
For his work in the music industry, he was awarded the President’s Merit Award by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences.
Kaunas Technology University in Kaunas, Lithuania awarded me with the degree of Doctor Honoris Causa for my contributions to the field.
The Business for Peace Foundation in Oslo, Norway’s 2014 Business for Peace Award.
Was named the most regarded businessperson of the last 50 years by The Sunday Times.
The Outstanding organisation ranked him as their top ally for LGBT people.
was named by UK firm Richtopia as the most influential business leader in the country.
While attending the UNDP in Pursuit of Peace Awards Dinner, he was honoured with the International Crisis Group Chairman’s Award.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Did Richard Branson Get so Rich?
Sir Richard Branson, an entrepreneur at the ripe old age of 71, is worth an estimated $4 billion. At the age of 16, Branson started his first magazine, and he has since gone on to develop and/or run numerous other successful businesses, including airlines, record labels, radio stations, and hotels.
How Many Businesses Does Branson Have?
He has a public ownership of 11.9% in Virgin Galactic, 13% in the British bank Virgin Money, and 3.1% in the biotechnology firm 23andMe. In addition to these companies, Branson controls around 13% of online retailer Grove Collaborative and 75% of satellite company Virgin Orbit.