Name: Sir Richard Charles Nicholas Branson
Born: July 18, 1950, in Blackheath, London, England, UK
- English business magnate and investor and founder of Virgin Group of more than 400 companies including Virgin Records and Virgin Airlines.
- Announced plans to build an orbital space launch system, designated LauncherOne (2012).
- Created new space tourism company, Virgin Galactic (2004).
- Like a Virgin: Secrets They Won't Teach You at Business School (2012).
- Losing My Virginity: How I Survived, Had Fun, and Made a Fortune Doing Business My Way (2011).
- Screw Business As Usual (2011).
- Business Stripped Bare: Adventures of a Global Entrepreneur (2008).
Honors and awards
- National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences' President's Merit Award (2012).
- ISTA Prize by the International Space Transport Association in The Hague (2011).
- Time Magazine "Top 100 Most Influential People in the World" (2009).
- 4th richest citizen of the United Kingdom with an estimated net worth of US$4.6 billion (Forbes 2012).
- Crossed the Pacific from Japan to Arctic Canada, 6,700 miles (10,800 km), in a balloon of 2,600,000 cubic feet (74,000 m3). This broke the record, with a speed of 245 miles per hour (394 km/h) (1991).
"My interest in life comes from setting myself huge, apparently unachievable challenges and trying to rise above them. From the perspective of wanting to live life to the full, I felt that I had to attempt it."