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Genre: Celebrity Speakers
Price: Under $200,000
Availability: Generally Availability
Demographics: 18-25,25-35,35-50,50 +
The English investor and philanthropist Sir Richard Branson was born in 1950 in Blackheath, London. Although today known as the business mogul behind the Virgin Company empire, Branson struggled academically as a child due to his dyslexia. But his parents were very supportive of his aspirations and so when Branson began his efforts to start his own record company, they were very supportive of him.
In the late 1960’s, Richard began selling records under the name “Virgin,” offering the products at a discounted price to compete with the larger stores. After raising enough funds through his sales, Branson launched Virgin Records in 1972, complete with its own recording studio, The Manor Studio in Oxford. Throughout the 1970’s, Branson’s Virgin Records signed artists such as Culture Club and the Sex Pistols, and the company which would grow to become the Virgin Group was born.
Today the Virgin Group includes Virgin Megastores, Virgin Healthcare, Virgin Books, Virgin Atlantic airlines, Virgin Mobile, and the Virgin Earth Challenge, a technology prize designed to foster innovation, particular the kind of innovation which will lead to reducing atmospheric greenhouse gases. Global climate issues are among Branson’s philanthropic interests; others include: Global Zero (an initiative to eliminate all nuclear weapons); Broadband Commission for Digital Development (to promote universal access to broadband services); Global Commission on Drug Policy (to explore more rational and humane drug laws); and the African Wildlife Foundation (which seeks to bring awareness to issues regarding animal trafficking and poaching.)
Branson has also authored a number of books, including: Losing My Virginity: How I’ve Survived, Had Fun, and Made a Fortune Doing Business My Way (1998); Screw It, Let’s Do It (2006); Business Stripped Bare (2008); Reach for the Skies: Ballooning, Birdmen, and Blasting Into Space (2010); Screw Business as Usual (2011); and The Virgin Way: How to Listen, Learn, Laugh, and Lead (2014.)
Richard Branson has been named by Time Magazine as one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World. Branson was knighted by Prince Charles in 2000. His current net worth is estimated to exceed six billion dollars.
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