Sir Richard Branson


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Related to Sir Richard Branson: Rupert Murdoch

Branson, Sir Richard

(Richard Charles Nicholas Branson), 1950–, British business mogul and adventurer. He left school at 16 to start his first business, the magazine Student. In 1970 he began a mail-order record business, named Virgin because of his inexperience in the field. He opened a discount record store in 1971 and Virgin Records, a trendsetting label in punk and new wave rock music that later signed rock superstars, two years later. In 1984 Branson became part owner of an airline, renamed Virgin Atlantic, which achieved success, but in 1992 he was forced to sell Virgin Records to finance the airline. His Virgin-brand business empire has expanded since the 1980s to become one of the largest privately owned conglomerates in Europe, with some 200 enterprises in the finance, retail, Internet, hotel, telecommunications, gambling, and transport industries; in 2017 he agree to sell much of his controlling stake in Virgin Atlantic.

Branson, who was knighted in 1999, also has set several water and air speed records. In 1986 he was part of a two-man powerboat crew that crossed the Atlantic in record time. The next year he and another adventurer were the first to cross the Atlantic in a hot-air balloon, and in 1991 they became the first to fly the Pacific. In the 1990s he made several unsuccessful attempts to fly a balloon around the world. Branson has survived a number of life-threatening crashes.

Bibliography

See his autobiography (1998) and Screw It, Let's Do It: Lessons in Life (2006); biography by M. Brown (rev. ed. 1998).

References in periodicals archive ?
SO, Northern Rock has been sold on the cheap to Sir Richard Branson at a loss of pounds 650million.
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Entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson yesterday celebrated the 21st birthday of his airline Virgin Atlantic with a special flight to commemorate its first ever journey between London and New York.
SIR RICHARD BRANSON'S airline Virgin Atlantic is to begin flying relief supplies to Iraq, and plans to reintroduce scheduled services to Baghdad.
VIRGIN boss Sir Richard Branson last night warned that the UK's borrowing was a serious risk to the economy.
SIR RICHARD BRANSON yesterday saw his Virgin brand extend to 9.4m UK households following the acquisition of his Virgin Mobile business by cable giant NTL.
Although turnover was down, Sir Richard Branson's airline forecasts being pounds 10 million in the black before tax for the year ending April 2003 - a leap from a pounds 92 million loss last financial year.
The Pendolino tilting train operated by Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Rail left Manchester as scheduled at 6.58am.
SIR Richard Branson mapped out his vision for the railways yesterday claiming he can slash journey times on Britain's busiest route.