Successful Dyslexics: Richard Branson

Quick Facts about Richard Branson

  • Full Name: Richard Charles Nicholas Branson
  • Current Job: Chairman of Virgin Group, composed of more than 200 companies
  • Born:  July 18, 1950 in Blackheath, London
  • Secret to Overcoming Dyslexia:  Discovered his ability to connect with others and the support of his family
  • Hobbies: Attempting to set world records including the fastest crossing of the English Channel in an amphibious vehicle!


Branson struggled in school while growing up, never receiving the proper kind of instruction dyslexic students need, eventually dropping out at the age of 15. But his creative entrepreneurial spirit and his confidence in his ability to connect with others lead him to start a youth magazine called Student in 1966. He used the magazine to advertise and sell records, very successfully; eventually opening up his own record store on Oxford Street in London.

With the record shop a success he opened a recording studio in 1972 in Oxfordshire, England. The first artist to sign under the Virgin Records label was Mike Oldfield. His song 'Tubular Bells', was a huge hit and led to the signing of other new talent including The Sex Pistols. From there Virgin took off to become the group of 200 companies it is today.

Very recently Branson has focused on a space tourism venture and is currently developing a suborbital spaceplane. In April 2013, the company successfully test launched SpaceShipTwo, breaking the sound barrier on its very first flight. A tragic crash in October 2014 has delayed plans but a new plane is being built and testing continues in 2015. You can visit Virgin Galactic for more information.


"I was dyslexic, I had no understanding of schoolwork whatsoever. I certainly would have failed IQ tests. And it was one of the reasons I left school when I was 15 years old. And if I - if I'm not interested in something, I don't grasp it."

Richard Branson Discusses his Dyslexia

Branson featured on NBC's Today's Health

"Do not be embarrassed by your failures, learn from them and start again."

"You don't learn to walk by following rules. You learn by doing, and by falling over."

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