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, I was fortunate to be brought up by two very loving parents, and they were great believers in bestowing a lot of praise upon their children, a lot of encouragement. And I think that gave me a lot of confidence.
And they also – particularly my mother – very much wanted us to stand on our own two feet from a young age. To the extreme case of pushing me out of the car at age six and asking me to make my way home, about three miles from home, and myself getting lost. But anyway, that was the kind of thing she would do to try to get us to not to be too “coddled,” as she would put it.
So I think the upbringing, a combination of love, and encouragement, and a desire to see us doing things rather than watching other people doing things, helped me in the future.
Recorded on: July 5, 2007