"Born in 1950, Richard Branson grew up in a traditional family and received his education at Stowe School, where he established a national magazine entitled Student at the age of sixteen.
He started a Student Advisory Centre at 17, aiming to help young people. At twenty years old, he founded Virgin as a mail order record retailer and a short while later, he opened a record shop in Oxford Street, London. In 1972, a recording studio was built in Oxfordshire where the first Virgin artist, Mike Oldfield, recorded "Tubular Bells", later released in 1973.
The first album of Virgin Records went on to sell more than five million copies. At the age of 27, Richard signed The Sex Pistols to the Virgin Records label after the group was turned down by every label in Great Britain.
Over the years, he signed many superstar names including Steve Winwood, Paula Abdul, Belinda Carlisle, Genesis, Phil Collins, Peter Gabriel, Simple Minds, The Human League, Bryan Ferry, Culture Club, Janet Jackson, and The Rolling Stones. As is evident, Branson managed to turn the Virgin Music Group into a giant success.
In 1992, the Virgin Music Group -- record labels, music publishing and recording studios -- was sold to Thorn EMI in a $1 billion US deal.
The interests of Virgin Group have since expanded into international "Megastore" music retailing, books and software publishing, film and video editing facilities, and clubs and hotels throughout 100 companies in 15 countries.
Virgin Atlantic Airways, started in 1984, is now the second largest British long haul international airline and operates a fleet of Boeing 747 aircrafts to New York, Miami, Los Angeles, Orlando, Boston, San Francisco, Washington, Dallas, and Tokyo." read the rest at www.askmen.com/men/december99/6c_richard_branson.html
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