15+ Richard Branson Facts to Enrich Your Knowledge in 2023

Updated · Mar 06, 2023

Trends come and go.

Business industries change in the blink of an eye.

It is hard to find someone who has stood through it all. Hard, but not impossible. 

Sir Richard Branson is the perfect example of that.

Even though Branson is far behind the wealthiest billionaires nowadays, he has years and years of experience. And numerous achievements.

He founded Virgin back in 1970. The Virgin empire has spread to nearly every sector imaginable since then.

If you want to find out more Richard Branson facts and his recipe for success, you’re at the right place.

Fascinating Richard Branson Facts

  • Branson formed Virgin Atlantic airlines in 1984.
  • In 1987, he crossed the Atlantic in a hot air balloon, setting a world record.
  • Branson set another world record in 2004. He crossed the English Channel in an amphibious vehicle in less than two hours.
  • The businessman isn’t on the board of directors of any of his 200+ Virgin firms.
  • Branson paid only $180,000 for his island. It is now worth over $200,000,000.
  • In 2006, he donated $3 billion to research on environmentally friendly fuels.
  • Branson took part in Virgin Galactic’s test flight on July 11, 2021.

Richard Branson Biography

We’ve all heard stories about the genius high school dropout that achieves great things in life. Some of us even dreamt of being one.

Well, that’s Richard Branson’s story in short. But he’s much more than that.

Although he established one of the most recognizable brands worldwide, he does not describe himself as a businessman.

Branson is an adventurer. An extreme one.

But let’s start with his personal life to understand how it all began.

Where was Richard Branson born?

Does he have children?

Is Richard Branson married?

1. Richard Branson was born in London, England.

(Source: Britannica)

The full name of the head of Virgin Group Ltd. is Sir Richard Charles Nicholas Branson. He turned 71 on July 18, 2021.

There isn’t much of a dispute around Richard Branson’s nationality. The title ‘sir’ gives it up quickly. He is British, born and raised.

2. Branson’s parents were not business people.

(Source: Forbes)

We’ve heard the expression “it runs in their veins” before. And it’s true in many cases. Plenty of successful people in business accumulate their wealth in their parents’ field of work.

Well, Richard Branson’s family is the exception to this rule. His parents were a barrister and a flight attendant. That’s pretty distant from his first business venture—mail-order business.

Admittedly, he invested in airlines later on. This might be a stretch, but we could say he has a point of contact with his mother’s initial field of work.

3. Richard Branson has dyslexia.

(Source: Money Inc)

Branson had a hard time in school. He’s also a high school dropout. Add up these facts, and you might assume Richard Branson was lazy or stupid.

But that isn’t the case.

In fact, he had severe dyslexia. He had trouble reading and writing. This might’ve even been the reason he dropped out.

Through continuous work, Branson eventually found a way to deal with his difficulties. It seems like success really is dependent on effort.

4. Richard Branson has two kids.

(Source: CelebrityFunFacts)

What is a successful man without a happy family?

Richard Branson married Kristen Tomassi in 1972. Unfortunately, they ended up getting a divorce seven years later.

The businessman took a ten-year break from marriage. That is until he met Lady Joan Templeman and married her in 1989.

Branson has two children from this marriage—Holly and Sam Branson.

5. Branson holds three world records.

(Source: Times Now News)

Yes, you read it right!

Branson is not only a billionaire but quite an adventurer too. 

In 1986, he set a world record for crossing the Atlantic with a powerboat. The following year, he was part of the first team to cross the Atlantic with a hot air balloon. In 1991, they broke another record, crossing 6,700 miles of the Pacific Ocean.

We need to point out, though, that Richard Branson’s records stand on a foundation of failures. His first try to cross the Atlantic ended with him being rescued by the Royal Air Force. Still, he did not give up. And that’s what matters.

Although Richard Branson’s age is advancing, he is still young at heart! We do believe he has a few more world records left to set.

6. Richard Branson owns a submarine.

(Source: Times Now News)

Billionaires are known for owning expensive and sometimes extravagant means of transportation.

Larry Page owns a $45 million yacht.

Sergey Brin has a 50-person plane.

You name it, they have it!

But no matter how interesting facts about other celebrities’ purchases are, Richard Branson beats them all.

He owns a submarine! It is called the Necker Nymph and can stay underwater for up to two hours. 

7. Richard Branson received the title “Sir’” in 1999.

(Source: CelebrityFunFacts)

Is Richard Branson knighted?

Yes, Sir Richard Nicholas Branson was knighted in 1999 by Queen Elizabeth II to honor his entrepreneurship services.

This is a huge honor! But Richard Branson’s awards don’t end here.

8. Branson was awarded by the UN.

(Source: CelebrityFunFacts)

Branson is a true philanthropist. He has donated loads of money to improve the quality of life and education of children in Africa. Branson has also supported several environmental and humanitarian causes.

As a result, Branson received The United Nations Correspondents Association Citizen of The World Award. A big award for a big-hearted man.

9. Branson created The Elders with Nelson Mandela.

(Source: CelebrityFunFacts)

More Richard Branson interesting facts are coming your way! Are you ready? 

Branson founded The Elders with the world-known philanthropist Nelson Mandela. They established this human rights advocacy group in 2007.

The idea behind the organization is as noble as its creators. The Elders is all about combating human suppression and injustice around the world.

 Richard Branson Career

Words are never enough when describing a person like Branson. It is one thing to be a billionaire. It is another to be a dedicated philanthropist with the soul of an adventurer.

But everything he’s done wouldn’t be possible if it wasn’t for his successful business. So let’s take a look at Richard Branson’s career history.

10. Richard Branson’s net worth will reach $4 billion in 2022.

(Source: Forbes)

Richard Branson might not be among the wealthiest businessmen in the world but he does have almost $4 billion.

Not bad for a high school dropout, if you ask us.

Moreover, Richard Branson’s accomplishments go far beyond his assets. And that’s what counts at the end of the day, right?

11. Branson started a magazine at the age of 15.

(Source: CelebrityFunFacts)

Every billionaire started from somewhere. What was Richard Branson’s first business? 

Branson might’ve dropped out of school, but he didn’t waste his time even for a second. Right after this life-changing decision, he went on to establish his first business.

At the age of fifteen, Branson started the magazine “Student.”

12.  Richard Branson established Virgin Mail Order Records in 1970.

(Source: Britannica)

What is Richard Branson famous for? 

Branson’s first business venture—the magazine “Student”— was a courageous act, truly. However, he did end up losing money.

He was not discouraged, though. He quickly stood up on his feet and founded Virgin Mail Order Records. The funds he raised through it enabled him to open the first British discount record store in 1971.

Two years later, the worldwide label for punk and new wave, Virgin Records, was a fact.

13. Branson isn’t on the board of directors of any of his 200 Virgin subsidiaries.

(Source: Money Inc)

Richard Branson’s businesses are more than 200 in a wide range of fields. Still, Branson does not sit on the board of directors of any of them.


Well, as he’s said numerous times, he has never envisioned himself as a businessman. He prefers to participate in the creative part of the process and leave the business side to the experienced people.

It is a rare sight for a billionaire to admit someone else could do a job, don’t you think?

14. Branson took part in Virgin Galactic’s test flight on July 11, 2021.

(Source: CNN)

Expansion is everything Branson has ever worked toward. The sky's the limit, right? Well, not for him. 

One of the many businesses owned by Richard Branson is Virgin Galactic. In 2020, the company signed a Space Act Agreement with NASA. This allows the team to make space trips to the International Space Station.

A year later, on July 11, 2021, Branson took part in the successful test flight to space. What to expect from Richard Branson facts for 2022? More space adventures, hopefully.

15. Branson bought an island for $180,000.

(Source: Times Now News)

What does Richard Branson own?

An island. An island now worth $200,000,000. No, we did not accidentally add a few extrа zeros.

The story behind this acquisition is interesting. Initially, the asking price was $6 million. The billionaire offered a much smaller sum. Offended by his offering, the owner escorted Branson off the island.

So, how did Branson manage to buy it for $180,000? The owner found himself in some trouble soon after and accepted Branson’s offer.

In 2021, Necker Island is estimated at two hundred million dollars. Way to go go, Branson!

16. Branson got arrested for tax evasion.

(Source: Times Now News)

Our list of Richard Branson interesting facts is coming to an end, but we saved the spiciest one for last.

Five months after Branson established the Virgin Records, the billionaire was arrested for tax evasion. In 1971, Branson was accused of discounting his records and evading the 33% tax.

Branson’s parents paid the bail by pledging their home. Facts show that he realized his mistake and corrected his behavior.

To pay his debts, he launched two more businesses under the Virgin Records name.

Wrap Up

A billionaire.

A philanthropist.

A world records setter.

Richard Branson is everything but predictable.

With his latest travel to space, we can’t help but wonder—what’s next? 

We are pretty sure even Branson himself does not have the answer to that question.

Anyway, we’re sure the future Richard Branson facts will be even more interesting.

Nick Galov
Nick Galov

Unaware that life beyond the internet exists, Nick is poking servers and control panels, playing with WordPress add-ons, and helping people get the hosting that suits them.