Richard Branson is a British entrepreneur known for his philanthropic projects and his taste for adventure. He is the founder and chairman of Virgin Group Ltd., a conglomerate of separately run companies which include radio stations, airlines, and mobile phones. The Virgin Group now owns around 200 companies in over 30 countries. Virgin also plans to launch commercial space flights over the next few years in a venture called Virgin Galactic.
Branson was born in 1950 in Surrey, England, and was educated at Stowe School, where he established a national magazine, Student, at the age of 16. He is married with two children and lives in London and Oxfordshire.
Richard Branson: Well at an early age, I didn’t know I was dyslexic at the time, but I am dyslexic. And therefore, when I went off to school, I found conventional school work hopeless. IQ tests, I would turn them upside down. And whichever way I turned them I couldn’t make sense of them.
I decided at a very young age that I needed to get out of this environment and carve my own way in life. And fortunately, I felt that I was strongly anti-Vietnam War that was taking place at the time.
I was very keen on the idea of students being able to have a voice, students to be able to try and change the, what I thought, archaic way that we were taught to do things. So I left school at 15 to start a magazine to try to change the world and put the world right.
Recorded on: July 5, 2007.