BY CHRISTINE CROSBY
Sir Richard Branson, the iconic billionaire entrepreneur, has recently added another milestone to his impressive life story. This time, it’s not about conquering the skies or launching groundbreaking ventures but embracing the joys of becoming a grandfather for the fourth time.
With four young grandchildren already in the fold, Sir Richard shared his reflections on life and the values he hopes to instill in the next generation. “I’ve been thinking a lot about the meaning of life and the things that I want to teach them so that they live the best life possible,” Branson says. It’s a poignant moment for a man dedicated to pushing boundaries and redefining success.
In 2017, Branson proclaimed, “We’re incredibly proud to share the wonderful news that our fourth grandchild has been born, Bluey Rafe Richard Branson.” With this child, his parents, Isabella (Bellie) and dad, Sam, opened another chapter in the ever-expanding Branson family saga.
“It would have been equally wonderful if we were welcoming another girl into the family, but it is extra special to now to have two little boys – Bluey and Artie – and two little girls – Eva-Deia and Etta.”
Sam revealed the baby’s unique name, carrying on the tradition of creativity and individuality that defines the Branson legacy. There are many reasons behind the name Bluey. His great-great-grandfather was a Cambridge rowing blue, while his great-grandfather was a Cambridge swimming blue.
Branson with twin grandchildren, baby girl Etta and baby boy Artie.
But Sir Richard Branson’s journey to this point is more than just being a doting grandfather; it’s a tale of ambition, adventure, and unwavering determination.
The Love Story of Sir Richard Branson and Joan Templeman
Behind every successful man is a strong woman; Joan Templeman is no exception. Joan, who hails from Scotland, is a rock in Branson’s life. They have two children, Holly and Sam, and have experienced triumphs and challenges.
Their love story, which started with Branson’s audacious pursuit of Joan, led to the purchase of Necker Island, where they eventually married. Joan’s support and partnership have been instrumental in Branson’s success, highlighting the strength of their relationship.
A legacy of innovation and entrepreneurship
The Branson name has been synonymous with ambition and achievement for generations. Sir Richard Branson was born on July 18, 1950, in Blackheath, London, into a family with a rich history. His grandfather, Sir George Arthur Harwin Branson, was a respected High Court judge and a Privy Councilor.
Branson’s family history also has intriguing ties to India, where his ancestors lived for generations. This connection to South Asian heritage was confirmed through genetic testing, revealing that one of his great-great-great-grandmothers was Indian, named Ariya. It’s a testament to the global tapestry of the Branson family tree.
Despite facing early academic challenges due to dyslexia and ADHD, Branson’s parents nurtured his entrepreneurial spirit. His mother, a successful entrepreneur, was pivotal in shaping his early experiences.
In 1970, Branson founded Virgin as a mail-order record retailer. This venture was the catalyst for a series of bold business moves across various industries, from music to transportation, space travel, and beyond. Over the years, Branson’s ventures have made him a household name and earned him a knighthood in 2000 for his contributions to entrepreneurship.
Reaching for the stars and beyond
In June 2023, Forbes estimated Branson’s net worth at a staggering $3 billion, underscoring his impact on the business world. However, Branson’s ambitions extend far beyond financial success. He’s an atheist who firmly believes in the power of evolution and humanitarian efforts, acknowledging the
comfort that faith can provide.
Caption: Watch Unity 22, Virgin Galactic’s first fully crewed spaceflight with two pilots and four mission specialists, including Sir Richard Branson.
Beyond the boardroom, Branson is an adventurer at heart. He’s set world records in kitesurfing, including kiting across the English Channel and breaking records with multiple riders. In 2021, at 70, Branson achieved a lifelong dream by traveling to the edge of space on Virgin Galactic’s Unity 22, becoming the third oldest person to do so.
A commitment to positive change
Branson is not just an entrepreneur but a philanthropist and advocate for positive change. He co-founded the B Team, a global nonprofit organization dedicated to driving positive change and promoting sustainable business practices. The B Team focuses on climate action, human rights, responsible tax practices, gender equality, and diversity and inclusion in the workplace.
Various influential figures and books have shaped Branson’s life. He’s often mentioned as being inspired by Nelson Mandela’s autobiography, “Long Walk to Freedom,” as well as books like “An Inconvenient Truth” and “The Revenge of Gaia.” His love for adventure is also rooted in his admiration for Peter Pan.
Moreover, Branson is a signatory of the Global Zero campaign, which advocates for eliminating all nuclear weapons worldwide. His commitment to global issues extends beyond business and adventure.
A family of achievers
Sir Richard Branson’s family is filled with high achievers who share his passion for making a positive impact. His daughter, Holly Branson, a doctor by profession, plays a prominent role within the Virgin Group, focusing on people, purpose, and culture-related projects. She also strongly advocates for the Better Business Act, advocating for ethical corporate practices.
Sam Branson, the youngest child of Richard and Joan Branson, has dedicated his life to adventure, environmental awareness, and philanthropy. He embarked on a challenging dogsled expedition to the Arctic to raise awareness about climate change. Sam is also a founder of Big Change, a charity committed to driving positive change for young people in the UK.
Remembering Eve Branson
Eve Branson, the mother of Richard, Lindy, and Vanessa, was a trailblazer in her own right. Her passion for writing and adventure led her to publish a memoir, “Mum’s The Word,” and various other works, including historical accounts and children’s stories. She founded the Eve Branson Foundation, which provides income-generating projects for girls in the Atlas Mountains of Morocco.
In 2008, Eve achieved a unique milestone when Virgin Galactic named its mothership, VMS Eve, in her honor. Her legacy lives on as an inspiration to her family and all those touched by her work.
Caption: In this video, Richard reflects on his dream to become an astronaut and the role his mother, Eve, played in helping him to turn that dream into reality.
Evette “Eve” Huntley Branson was a British philanthropist and a child welfare advocate. She died at age 96 from COVID-19 complications in 2021, during the COVID-19 pandemic in the United Kingdom.
Here are just a few of Sir Richard’s titles for your enjoyment.
A grand adventure continues
As Sir Richard Branson embraces the joys of grandparenthood once again, he reflects on a life filled with remarkable achievements and adventures. From his entrepreneurial endeavors to his commitment to positive change and family legacy, Branson’s story with a loving family by his side inspires many.
See more cover stories here