5 fascinating facts you might not know about business legend Richard Branson 5 years ago

5 fascinating facts you might not know about business legend Richard Branson

An entrepreneurial genius.

Sir Richard Branson is the poster boy of entrepreneurial success and if you're thinking about starting your own business, then chances are that this guy is your hero.

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The founder of Virgin Group entered the world of business at the tender age of 16, starting the magazine Student. Six years later, the Londoner opened Virgin Records and would eventually set up several businesses under the Virgin Group name.

These days, Branson is believed to be worth a cool $5 billion, not bad for a dropout.

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 28: Sir Richard Branson attends the Looking to the Next Frontier session during the third day of the 2015 Clinton Global Initiative's Annual Meeting at the Sheraton New York Hotel & Towers on September 28, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by JP Yim/Getty Images)

While his mainstream ventures are well known, here is some other trivia about the legendary businessman that you may or may not know.

Branson is dyslexic

Not only does he have trouble reading and writing, he actually dropped out of school at just 16 years of age.

He was told that he'd never amount to anything by his discouraging teachers, so gave the business thing a bit of a go instead.

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PERTH, AUSTRALIA - MAY 07: Sir Richard Branson looks on during a media conference at Perth Airport on May 7, 2013 in Perth, Australia. Virgin Australia purchased Perth-based regional airline, Skywest adding another 32 planes to it's fleet to expand the airlines regional operations in Australia. (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)

You'd think then that creating a youth magazine as your first business venture wouldn't be the wisest move, but Student was actually relatively successful because Branson used the magazine to sell advertising space.

We've yet to confirm if he's had the last laugh yet or not, but we're fairly confident he has done.

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 28: Sir Richard Branson attends the Looking to the Next Frontier session during the third day of the 2015 Clinton Global Initiative's Annual Meeting at the Sheraton New York Hotel & Towers on September 28, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by JP Yim/Getty Images)

He owns an entire bloody island that he also uses as a source of income

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Well, this is just showing off, isn't it?

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Branson owns Necker Island in the British Virgin Islands, which is located in the Caribbean Sea. The entrepreneur makes the island available, if you are so inclined, for a tidy $42,000 a night. Celebrities such as David Beckham, Jimmy Fallon and Mariah Carey have availed of this offer in the past.

Don't worry, though, because if that all sounds a bit pricey then you can settle for just renting a villa, sure that will only cost you $27,000 per night.

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No bother.

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The famous 'Virgin' business name very much meant what it insinuated

It has become so synonymous with Branson and business in general, that you'd easily look past the actual meaning of the word 'virgin'.

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But, when creating his famous label in 1969, a teenage Branson had absolutely no experience in running or operating a business, so felt that this was an appropriate name.

MIAMI, FL - JUNE 23: Tom McAplin and Sir Richard Branson attend a photocall for the announcement that the home port of Virgin Cruises will be in Miami at Perez Art Museum Miami on June 23, 2015 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Gustavo Caballero/Getty Images)

We tend to agree.

He's a world record breaker

Not content with being a business genius, Branson only went and achieved a very impressive world record in 1987.

The feat was half business-related, half adventure (Branson is an extreme sport enthusiast) as the Englishman became the first person to cross the Atlantic in the largest hot air balloon (Virgin sponsored, of course).

Clip via okidokivideos

So that nobody could challenge him, Sir Richard decided to break his own record when, in 1991, he crossed 6,700 miles of the Pacific at 245 miles per hour.

Nice.

He's sound out when it comes to his own money

With all that coin comes very little greediness apparently, because Branson is well known to donate vast sums to humanitarian and environmental causes.

In 2007, he helped establish The Elders which is a human rights advocacy group that is designed to help the disadvantaged and vulnerable.

All this philantropy hasn't gone unnoticed, and he was awarded The United Nations Correspondents Association Citizen of the World Award that same year.

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A sound man.