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'Virgin Galactic' to go public
Social Capital Hedosophia Holdings
'Virgin Galactic' sells 49% of the company to Social Capital Hedosophia Holdings for $800 million. The acquisition company plans to list its stake on the New York Stock Exchange. That will make Virgin the first space tourism company to trade publicly.
Virgin reaches for space again
Three years after 'Virgin Galactic' projected it would be rolling out commercial operations, the company resumes powered test flights of its 'SpaceShipTwo'. Executives say commercial flights are months away.
Virgin makes a play for military launch contracts
'Virgin Orbit' spawns Vox Space, dedicated to landing US government contracts for the company. Branson also takes a stake in Hyperloop One, renaming the company 'Virgin Hyperloop One'.
Branson's sixth book published
'Virgin Books' publishes Branson's sixth book, "Like A Virgin: Secrets They Won't Teach You in Business School".
Virgin Galactic announces new technology that will send small satellites to orbit
'Virgin Galactic' announces new technology that will send small satellites to orbit by launching a rocket mid-air from under the wing of a Boeing 747, called the 'LauncherOne'. The endeavor eventually breaks off to form sister company 'Virgin Orbit'.
'Virgin Atlantic' begun to develop world's first low-carbon aviation fuel
'Virgin Atlantic' begins to develop the world's first low-carbon aviation fuel which should have half the carbon footprint as the standard fossil fuel.
Branson's fifth book published
'Virgin Books' publishes Branson's fifth book, "Screw Business as Usual".
Branson's fifth book published
'Virgin Books' publishes Branson's fifth book, "Screw Business as Usual".
'The Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship' is opened
'The Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship' is opened as an educational facility in Jamica.
Branson's fourth book published
'Virgin Books' publishes Branson's fouth book, "Reach for the Skies".
'Virgin Produced' made it's debut with the movie "Limitless"
'Virgin Produced' is a film and TV development company that packages and produces film. The company made it's debut with the movie "Limitless".
'Virgin Galactic launched it's first manned spaceship
'Virgin Galactic' unveils it's first commerically manned spaceship, called the 'Virgin SpaceShip Enterprise'.
'Virgin Health Bank' launched
'Virgin Health Bank' commissions, desgins and builds the first cord blood stem cell processing and storage facility in Qatar.
first airline company to offer free Wi-Fi access on every flight
'Virgin America' becomes the first airline company to offer free Wi-Fi access on every flight.
Branson's third book published
'Virgin Books' publishes Branson's third book, "Business Stripped Bare".
'Virgin Atlantic' becomes first airline company to fly most biofuel used flights
Virgin Atlantic becomes the first airline company to fly a Boeing 747 using only biofuel.
'Virgin Earth Challenge' launched
Al Gore and Richard Branson launch the 'Virgin Earth Challenge' which, "Seeks to find a commercially viable design which results in the new removal of anthropogenic, atmospheric greenhouse gases in an attempt to contribute materially to the stability of the Earth's climate system."
'Virgin American' takes it's first flight
'Virgin America' launches it's first flight from New York to San Francisco. Branson promotes his American airline’s inaugural trip to Las Vegas by descending 350 feet down the side of the Palms Casino Resort Fantasy Tower.
'Virgin Media' becomes a "quadplay" company
'Virgin Media' becomes a "quadplay" company by offering TV, broadband, phone and mobile services all from the same company.
'Virgin Comics' founded
'Virgin Comics' is founded alongside Virgin Animation. Virgin Animation creates films for the comic books sold by Virgin Comics.
'Virgin Fuel' launched
'Virgin Fuel' launches to invest growth capital in the renewable energy and resource efficiency sectors. Later it would be renamed to the Virgin Green Fund.
'Virgin Unite' begun
'Virgin Unite' begins as Virgin's non-profit foundation to help smaller charities gain recognition and funding.
'Virgin Galactic' is announced
'Virgin Galactic' is announced as the world's first commercial space company, inspired by the technology that powered the first privately funded, crewed trips to space.
Branson's second book published
Virgin Books publishes Branson's second book, "Screw It Let's Do It".
'Virgin Mobile' arrives in the US
'Virgin Mobile' USA is established. Branson wears a nude-colored bodysuit and rides into New York’s Times Square on a giant cell phone to announce its debut. Like other Virgin Mobile companies, Virgin purchases bandwidth from an established wireless operator -- in this case, with Sprint.
'Virgin Experience' started
'Virgin Experience' starts as a day-adventure company offering anything from Porsche driving to scuba driving. Later, it was renamed as Virgin Experience Days.
Branson expands his gym business
'Virgin Active' opens in South Africa after Nelson Mandela called Branson personally, asking that he save the nation’s struggling Health & Racquet Club. Virgin Active later expands into the United Kingdom.
Virgin brings high-speed trains to the UK
'Virgin Trains', a British rail operator, unveils its first 140-mph Pendolino train. Branson said he was “amazed” by the speed of a Pendolino after he zipped from Turin to Rome aboard one and worked to bring the technology to the United Kingdom.
'Virgin Blue' started
'Virgin Blue' begins as an independent Australian airline. It eventually became the fastest-growing company in Virgin's history.
Richard Branson Knighted
Prince Charles of Wales
Richard Branson is knighted by Prince Charles of Wales for his contribution to entrepreneurship. His formal title is now: Sir Richard Branson.
Richard's autobiography published
Virgin Books publishes the first edition of Richard Branson's autobiography, "Losing My Virginity".
'Virgin Trains' launched
Quickly became 'Virgin Trains' and operated Intercity and express services across mainland Britain.
'Virgin.net' was launched as an internet service provider.
'Virgin Brides' launched
Branson wears a wedding dress for a charity event and to promote the launch of 'Virgin Brides' in the United Kingdom. Established with the hopes of streamlining wedding planning, Virgin Brides stuck around for a few years — but it ultimately fails.
'Virgin Direct Personal Financial Service' launched
Virgin Direct Personal Financial Service launches and is later renamed Virgin Money. The venture evolves into a one-stop shop for banking, allowing customers to manage their finances with a single account
'Virgin Vacations' launched
Virgin Vacations was launched with the intention to provide American Virgin Atlantic customers with inclusive vacation packages to London and elsewhere in the UK.
'Virgin Vodka' and 'Virgin Cola' launched
'Virgin Vodka' and 'Virgin Cola' both were launched around the same time, and apparently are great to drink together!
Virgin Radio hit the airwaves as the UK's first national and commerical rock music station
Virgin Radio hit the airwaves with Virgin 12:15AM as the UK's first national and commerical rock music station. Branson's voice was the first one heard as the station went live at 12:15pm. The first record played was "Born to be Wild" by INXS.
'Virgin Hotels' opened
The first version of 'Vigin Hotels' opens (now known as Virgin Limited Edition) as an exclusive hotel chain with properties in Edinburgh, North Yorkshire and Hampshire.
'Virgin Airship and Virgin Balloon Company' launched
Branson launches The Virgin Airship and Balloon Company, which later becomes Virgin Balloon Flights. Branson, a hot-air-balloon enthusiast, was on the first balloon trip across the Atlantic Ocean in July — part of a Virgin Atlantic marketing scheme.
'Virgin Holidays' founded
'Virgin Holidays' was founded as a type of travel agnecy that plans trips from start to finish.
'Virgin Atlantic' is born
Branson and partners establish his airline, 'Virgin Atlantic'. He got the idea after becoming stranded in Puerto Rico when his flight to the British Virgin Islands was cancelled for lack of passengers. Branson chartered a private plane, and as what he called a “joke,” wrote “Virgin Atlantic” on a chalkboard and sold tickets aboard the flight to other stranded travelers.
Virgin Vision launched 'Music Box'
Virgin Vision launches "Music Box" which was designed as a 24-hour satellite radio station.
'Virgin Games' launched
'Virgin Games' was launched to create and distribute video games for the gaming systems: Amiga, ZX Spectrum, Amstrad, CPC and C64.
'Virgin Records' went international
Branson's net worth was estimated at £5 million by 1979, and a year later, Virgin Records went international.
'Virgin Films' launched
'Virgin Films' is launched to invest and distribute films that would also compliment the record label. The first film distributed through Virgin Films was the Sex Pistol's mockumentary, "The Great Rock n' Roll Swindle".
'Virgin Books' branch was established
The 'Virgin Books' branch was established as a way to publish music titles that would compliment the Virgin Records label. The first title from Virgin Books was the "Sid Vicious Family Album".
'Virgin Megastore' opened
The first 'Virgin Megastore' opened at 14-16 Oxford Street in London, England. It would remain the brand's flagship store until it closes in 2007.
'Virgin Records' signed Sex Pistols
'Virgin Records' sign the Sex Pitols and help them release their album, "Nevermind the Bollocks, Here's the Sex Pistols".
'Virgin Records' launched
Earning enough money from his record store, Branson in 1972 launched the record label 'Virgin Records' with Nik Powell. The name "Virgin" was suggested by one of Branson's early employees because they were all new at business.
Branson started a record shop
Branson eventually started a record shop in Oxford Street in London. Branson begins to sell records by mail-order under the name Virgin as a way to cover costs for his magazine.
'Student' Magazine launched
After failed attempts to grow and sell both Christmas trees and budgerigars, Branson launched a magazine named 'Student' in 1966. The first issue of Student appeared in January 1968, and a year later, Branson's net worth was estimated at £50,000.
Richard attended Stowe School, an independent school in Buckinghamshire until the age of sixteen, and then he dropped out.
Branson was educated at Scaitcliffe School, a prep school in Surrey.