Richard Branson was also ranked in 2007's Time magazine "Top 100 Most Influential People in the World". On 7 December 2007, United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon presented Branson with the United Nations Correspondents Association Citizen of the World Award for his support for environmental and humanitarian causes
Sir Richard Branson is the founder and president of Virgin Group. Virgin is one of the world’s most recognized and respected brands and has expanded into aviation, hospitality and leisure, telecommunications, financial services, health and wellness, and clean energy through more than 400 companies worldwide, employing approximately 50,000 people in over 30 countries. One of Richard Branson’s newest ventures, Virgin America, was recognized as “Best Domestic Airline” by Travel + Leisure’s “2007 World’s Best” Awards.
In 1970 Richard Branson founded Virgin as a mail order record retailer, and shortly afterwards opened a record shop in Oxford Street, London. In 1972 he built a recording studio in Oxfordshire where the first Virgin artist, Mike Oldfield, recorded Tubular Bells. In 1977 Richard Branson signed the Sex Pistols and went on to sign many household names from Culture Club to the Rolling Stones, helping to make Virgin Music one of the top six record companies in the world. n December 1999, Richard Branson was awarded a knighthood in the Queen’s Millennium New Year’s honours list for “services to entrepreneurship.”
In the summer of 2004, Richard Branson launched Virgin Unite as a vehicle to pull together all the resources of the Virgin Group internationally and, most importantly, Virgin’s best asset – its people – to tackle some of the tougher challenges facing the world today. Sir Richard and on-the-ground partners participate in a number of efforts, including the creation of sustainable health clinics in Africa and the fostering of new entrepreneurs through the Branson School of Entrepreneurship in South Africa. In March 2008, Branson hosted an environmental gathering at his private island, Necker Island, in the Caribbean with several prominent entrepreneurs, celebrities, and world leaders. They discussed global warming-related problems facing the world, hoping that the meeting would be a precursor to future discussions regarding similar problems. Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales, and Larry Page of Google were in attendance
Sir Richard Branson is the author of Losing My Virginity: How I’ve Survived, Had Fun and Made a Fortune Doing Business My Way, Screw It, Let’s Do It: Lessons in Life and Business Stripped Bare: Adventures of a Global Entrepreneur.
Richard Branson keeps his adrenaline level high by setting personal and world record challenges. His record-breaking endeavors include crossing both the Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean in epic hot air balloon voyages and participating in other around-the-world-attempts. Recently, Sir Richard, along with his two children Holly and Sam, attempted to break the world’s record in transatlantic crossing with the Virgin Money Speedboat, a 99 ft super-maxi yacht.