Richard Branson started Virgin as a mail order record retailer in 1970, Branson founded Virgin Records and opened a record shop on Oxford Street, London. Virgin Records went on to sign household names from the Sex Pistols to The Rolling Stones, becoming the biggest independent label in the world. There are now more than 100 Virgin companies worldwide, employing approximately 60,000 people in over 50 countries.
Since Branson founded Virgin Atlantic in 1984, it has established itself as a leading global airline. Expansion elsewhere has seen Branson become the only person to build eight billion dollar companies in eight different sectors.
Branson has challenged himself with many record breaking adventures, including the fastest ever Atlantic Ocean crossing, a series of hot air balloon adventures and kitesur ng across the English Channel.
Branson was awarded a knighthood in 1999 for services to entrepreneurship. He lives on Necker Island with his wife Joan and two children, Holly and Sam.