- NAME: Richard Branson
- OCCUPATION: Entrepreneur
- BIRTH DATE: July 18, 1950 (Age: 63)
- EDUCATION: Scaitcliffe School, Stowe School
- PLACE OF BIRTH: Surrey, England, United Kingdom
- AKA: Richard Charles Nicholas Branson
- Full Name: Sir Richard Charles Nicholas Branson
- AKA: Richard Branson
- ZODIAC SIGN: Cancer
Best Known For
Entrepreneur Richard Branson launched Virgin Records in 1973. Today Virgin Group holds more than 200 companies in more than 30 countries.
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Branson's Virgin Group now holds more than 200 companies in more than 30 countries, including the United Kingdom, the United States, Australia, Canada, Asia, Europe and South Africa. He has expanded his businesses to include a train company, a luxury game preserve, a mobile phone company and a space-tourism company, Virgin Galactic.
Branson is also known for his sporting achievements, notably the record-breaking Atlantic crossing in Virgin Atlantic Challenger II in 1986,
and the first crossing by hot-air balloon of the Atlantic (1987) and Pacific (1991). He was knighted in 1999 for his contribution to entrepreneurship, and in 2009, he landed at No. 261 on Forbes' "World Billionaires" list with his $2.5 billion in self-made fortune, which includes two private islands.
In recent years, the ever-adventurous Branson has focused much of his attention on his space tourism venture. He partnered with Scaled Composites to form The Spaceship Company, which is currently developing a suborbital spaceplane, and, in April 2013, the project made an impressive leap forward with the test launch of SpaceShipTwo.
Branson was delighted by the success of his spaceship's first test, telling NBC News that "We're absolutely delighted that it broke the sound barrier on its very first flight, and that everything went so smoothly." He expects to be finishing testing the craft by the end of 2013. By April 2013, more than 500 people had bought their tickets for Virgin Galactic's voyages.
Branson is married to his second wife, Joan Templeman, with whom he has two children: Holly and Sam. He currently lives in London, England.
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