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A Brief Chronology of Sir Richard Branson

Here’s a look at the life of the founder of Virgin Group, Ltd., Richard Branson.

Personal facts

Birth date: July 18, 1950

Birth place: Surrey, England

Birth name: Richard Charles Nicholas Branson

Father: Edward Branson, lawyer

Mother: Eve (Huntley-Flindt) Branson, flight attendant

Marriages: Joan (Templeman) Branson (1989-present); Kristen (Tomassi) Branson (1972-1976, divorced)

Children: with Joan Branson: Clare Sarah, born and died in 1979; Holly; Sam



1966 – Co-founded the magazine “Student” shortly before dropping out of school at the age of 16.

1970 – Founds Virgin, a mail-order record company, and shortly thereafter a record store in London.

1971 – Starts Virgin Records music label and builds a recording studio.

1973 – With external struggle signs Mike Oldfield, who releases the company saving single “Tubular Bells,” which stays on the UK charts for 247 weeks.

1984 – Forms Virgin Atlantic airlines.

1987 – Embarks on a hot air balloon ride to cross the Atlantic Ocean with Per Lindstrand to become the first to do so.

1992 – Branson sells Virgin Music Group to Thorn EMI. Focuses on his airline, Virgin Atlantic.

1999 – Is knighted for his contributions to entrepreneurship.

June 2004 – Manages to cross the English Channel in one hour, 40 minutes and six seconds in an amphibious vehicle, setting a world record.

September 27, 2004 – Ventures into a licensing deal with Mojave Aerospace Ventures (MAV) to offer commercial space flights through Virgin Galactic.

December 7, 2009 – Branson unveils SpaceShipTwo, named VSS Enterprise, a commercial spacecraft designed to send passengers into orbit for $200,000 a ticket.

January 29, 2010 – Reveals the submarine Necker Nymph

August 23, 2011 – A fire ignites as the result of a lightning strike destroying Branson’s house on Necker Island in the British Virgin Islands.

July 2012 – Officially announced as the oldest  person to kitesurf the English Channel. 

November 22, 2013 – Accepts Bitcoin as a payment for his space travel flights.

October 31, 2014 – SpaceShipTwo explodes during a test flight, killing one pilot and injuring the other.

February 19, 2016 – Unveils a new spacecraft.

November 27-December 13, 2018 – Embarks on a historic expedition to the bottom of Belize’s Great Blue Hole with Fabien Cousteau and Erika Bergman

The submarine captured extensive sonar and video footage to help understand and protect the world’s oceans. Discovery Channel aired Part of the expedition.

May 10, 2019 – Moves Virgin Galactic’s spacecraft and 100 worker to Spaceport America in Mexico

May 25, 2020 – A launch demo of Virgin Orbit’s two-stage orbital rocket from a 747 aircraft fails. The aircraft was to air the rocket Lancher One “ignite its engine mid-air for the first time,” according to a news release.

Is working on a system to fire satellites into orbit using rockets that launch mid-air from under the wing of a plane.

Sir Richard Branson is the epitome of a man on a mission, he has virtually accomplished everything he’d set his mind to. A diligent man who struggled during his childhood due to dyslexia managed to overcome his surmount his fears as he grew older.

Richard’s recording company had signed with famous artists such as the Sex Pistols, Culture Club, the Rolling Stones and Genesis to the Virgin Records label.

Some of his possessions over time have included at least three islands, a super-yacht and a submarine.

The Virgin Group brand has spawned more than 400 worldwide companies, in leisure, travel, tourism, mobile, broadband, media, finance, conservation and health.

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