Sir Richard Charles Nicholas Branson is a British business magnate, investor, author and philanthropist.He founded the Virgin Group, which controls more than 400 companies.Branson expressed his desire to become an entrepreneur at a young age. His first business venture, at the age of 16, was a magazine called Student. In 1970, he set up a mail-order record business. He opened a chain of record stores, Virgin Records—later known as Virgin Megastores—in 1972. Branson’s Virgin brand grew rapidly during the 1980s, as he set up Virgin Atlantic airline and expanded the Virgin Records music label. In 2004, he founded spaceflight corporation Virgin Galactic, based at Mojave Air and Space Port, noted for the SpaceShipTwo suborbital spaceplane designed for space tourism.
In March 2000, Branson was knighted at Buckingham Palace for “services to entrepreneurship”. For his work in retail, music and transport (with interests in land, air, sea and space travel), his taste for adventure, and for his humanitarian work, he has become a prominent global figure.Branson was born in Blackheath, London, the eldest of three children of Eve Branson (née Evette Huntley Flindt; born 1924), a former ballet dancer and air hostess, and Edward James Branson (1918–2011), a barrister.He has two younger sisters. His grandfather, the Right Honourable Sir George Arthur Harwin Branson, was a judge of the High Court of Justice and a Privy Councillor.Branson was educated at Scaitcliffe School, a prep school in Surrey, before briefly attending Cliff View House School in Sussex.His third great-grandfather, John Edward Branson, left England for India in 1793; John Edward’s father, Harry Wilkins Branson, later joined him in Madras. On the show Finding Your Roots, Branson was shown to have 3.9% South Asian (Indian) DNA, likely through intermarriage.He attended Stowe School, an independent school in Buckinghamshire until the age of sixteen.
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