Sir Richard Charles Nicholas Branson was born on 18 July 1950, is a British industrialist, best-known for his Virgin brand of over 360 companies. At age 16, Branson had his 1st successful business venture, publishing a magazine called Student. In 1970, he set up an audio record mail-order business. In 1972, he opened a chain of record stores, Virgin Records, later recognise as Virgin Megastores. Branson’s Virgin brand grew rapidly during the 1980s—as he set up Virgin Atlantic Airways & expanded the Virgin Records music label. Branson is the eldest of 4 siblings. He has 2 sisters, Lindi & Vanessa Branson. His brother, Ted, followed in their father’s footsteps and became a barrister. Branson’s poor academic records contrasted with excellent performance in sports, especially swimming. w/ Joan Templeman he has two children, Holly born in 1981 and Sam born in 1984. He revealed in an interview with Piers Morgan that he & wife Joan had a daughter named Clare Sarah who died when she was just 4 days old in 1979. The couple wed—at their daughter Holly’s suggestion when she was eight years old—in 1989 at Necker Island, a 74-acre (30 ha) island in the British Virgin Islands that Branson owns. He also owns land on the Caribbean Islands of Antigua & Barbuda. Holly Branson is now a doctor. Branson is a supporter of Oxford United.
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Branson’s business empire is owned by a complicated series of offshore trusts and companies. The Sunday Times expressed that his wealth is calculated at £3.065 billion; if he were to retire to his Caribbean island and liquidate all of this he would pay relatively little in tax. When Virgin Mobile launched its service in Canada on 1 March 2005, the use of “naughty nurses” in its advertising triggered The Registered Nurses Association of Ontario to demand an apology from Branson & an immediate stop to the campaign, & called on members to boycott Virgin Mobile. Virgin Mobile spokeswoman Paula Lash said the company never intended to offend anyone, but was not about to pull the advertising. When Virgin Mobile included “super hot holiday” wrapping paper with the December 2005 issue of youth magazine Vice, as part of the Hot Box promotion, the wrapping paper contained illustrated holiday angels, where the male angel is touching the female’s breast, while the female angel has her hand on the male’s genitals. Famous Players stopped its partnership deals with Virgin Mobile after a complaint.
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