Born 18 July, 1950 in Surrey, England. His father was a barrister. Branson attended Scaitcliffe School and later Stowe school. Suffering from dyslexia, Branson did not excel at studies; he was more interested in extra curricular activities, such as football and cricket.
Branson dropped out at the age of 16 to start a youth-culture magazine called Student. The publication, run by students, for students, sold $8,000 worth of advertising in its first edition, which was launched in 1966. The first run of 50,000 copies was disseminated for free, after Branson covered the costs with advertising. By 1969, Branson was living in a London commune, surrounded by the British music and drug scene. It was during this time that Branson had the idea to begin a mail-order record company called Virgin to help fund his magazine efforts. The company performed modestly, but made Branson enough that he was able to expand his business venture, adding a record shop in Oxford Street, London. With the success of the record shop, the high school drop-out was able to build a recording studio in 1972 in Oxfordshire, England.
Branson further expanded his business,, this time to include the travel company the Voyager Group in 1980, the airline Virgin Atlantic in 1984, and a series of Virgin Megastores.
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.
Currently, the ever-adventurous Branson is now focusing his attention on his space tourism venture.
You don’t learn to walk by following rules. You learn by doing, and by falling over.
~ Richard Branson