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Chairman of Virgin Group Richard Branson pictures (pic) and photo gallery.
Born: July 18, 1950 (1950-07-18) Shamley Green, Surrey, England, UK.
Spouse(s):
-Joan Templeman (1989present).
-Kristen Tomassi (19721979) (divorced).
Children: Holly Branson, Sam Branson.

Richard Branson biography (bio):
Sir Richard Charles Nicholas Branson is an English entrepreneur, best known for his Virgin brand of over 350 companies. His first successful business venture was at age 16, when he published a magazine called Student; Branson then set up a record mail order business in 1970, and then a chain of record stores in 1971 now known as Virgin Megastores. With a flamboyant and competitive style, Branson's Virgin brand grew rapidly during the 1980s as he set up Virgin Atlantic Airways and expanded the Virgin Records music label. Today, his worth is estimated at over 4 billion (equivalent to US$7.8 billion) according to The Sunday Times Rich List 2006.[
Branson was educated at Scaitcliffe School (now Bishopsgate School) until the age of thirteen. He then attended Stowe School until he was fifteen. Branson has dyslexia, resulting in poor academic performance as a student. He was the captain of football and cricket teams, and by the age of fifteen he had started two ventures that eventually failed: one growing Christmas trees and another raising budgerigars.
At sixteen, Branson left school and moved to London, where he began his first successful business, Student magazine. When he was seventeen, he opened his first charity, the "Student Advisory Centre."

Record business:
Branson started his first record business after he travelled across the English Channel and purchased crates of "cut-out" records from a record discounter. He sold the records out of the boot of his car to retail outlets in London. He continued selling cut-outs through a record mail order business in 1969. Trading under the name "Virgin" he sold records for considerably less than the so-called "High Street" outlets, especially the chain W. H. Smith. The name 'Virgin' was a selling point because records were sold in a new condition (unlike in other shops where records were being handled when listened to in record booths). At the time many products were sold under restrictive marketing agreements which limited discounting, despite efforts in the 1950s and 1960s to limit so-called resale price maintenance. In effect Branson began the series of changes that led to large-scale discounting of recorded music. Richard and some colleagues were discussing a new name for his business when one suggested that it should be called 'Virgin' since they were all virgins to business.
Branson eventually started a record shop in Oxford Street in London and, shortly after, launched the record label Virgin Records with Nik Powell. Branson had earned enough money from his record store to buy a country estate, in which he installed a recording studio. He leased out studio time to fledgling artists, including multi-instrumentalist Mike Oldfield.

In 1971, Branson was arrested and charged for selling records in Virgin stores that had been declared as export stock. He settled out-of-court with UK Customs and Excise with an agreement to repay the unpaid tax and fines. Branson's mother Eve re-mortgaged the family home to help pay the settlement.
Virgin Records' first release was Mike Oldfield's Tubular Bells, which was a best-seller and British LP chart topper. The company signed controversial bands such as the Sex Pistols, which other companies were reluctant to sign. It also won praise for exposing the public to obscure avant-garde music such as the krautrock bands Faust and Can. Virgin Records also introduced Culture Club to the music world. In the early 1980s, Virgin purchased the gay nightclub Heaven.
To keep his airline company afloat, Branson sold the Virgin label to EMI in 1992, a more conservative company which previously had rescinded a contract with the Sex Pistols. Branson is said to have wept when the sale was completed since the record business had been the genesis of the Virgin Empire. He later formed V2 Records to re-enter the music business.
Chairman of Virgin Group Richard Branson pictures
Chairman of Virgin Group Richard Branson pictures
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Chairman of Virgin Group Richard Branson pictures
Chairman of Virgin Group Richard Branson pictures
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Chairman of Virgin Group Richard Branson pictures
Chairman of Virgin Group Richard Branson pictures
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Chairman of Virgin Group Richard Branson pictures
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Chairman of Virgin Group Richard Branson pictures
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Chairman of Virgin Group Richard Branson pictures
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Chairman of Virgin Group Richard Branson pictures
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Chairman of Virgin Group Richard Branson pictures
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Sr Richard Branson arrives to the 20th Anniversary Environmental Media Awards held on the backlot at Paramount Studios on October 25th 2009 in Los Angeles
Sr Richard Branson arrives to the 20th Anniversary Environmental Media Awards held on the backlot at Paramount Studios on October 25th 2009 in Los Angeles
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