Billionaire Richard Branson has been in the public eye for decades, and now he’s finally telling his story in his own words.
The Virgin mogul is taking fans through his journey to success in a new HBO Max docuseries, “Branson.” The four-part series premiered on December 1. It’s set to release new episodes on Thursdays at 10 p.m. EST.
The series features interviews with Branson’s family members as they retell the entrepreneur’s past, beginning with his first big project, Student magazine, which he started when he was just 16 years old. In fact, it was the magazine’s need for more cash that prompted him to go into the record business and breed the Virgin Records we know today.
From there, the Virgin brand expanded to the skies with Virgin Atlantic Airlines and even the great beyond with Virgin Galactic. Today he owns more than 40 companies, per Bloomberg.
Here’s what to know while binge-watching the docuseries.
Who Is Richard Branson’s Wife, Joan Branson?
Joan Branson besides Richard Branson. Image credit: Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic/Getty
Throughout Branson‘s journey to success, his wife, Joan Branson, née Templeman, has been a fixture by his side. The pair has been together for over 40 years after meeting at his Virgin Records store in London in 1976. At the time, Joan worked at a nearby antique shop. The duo wed in 1989 at Necker Island and Branson still fawns over his wife as if they are newlyweds.
“Far beyond record titles, I owe a lot to Joan,” he wrote in an open letter on the 44th anniversary of the day the two met. “Joan has always been a steady source of wisdom and has played no small part in some of my better life decisions.”
Who Are Richard Branson’s Children?
Richard and Joan Branson are parents to their two children, daughter Holly, 41, and son Sam, 37. Both of his kids work in the family business. Holly works as the Chief Purpose and Vision Officer on the Virgin leadership team. She’s also Chair of Virgin Unite and Founder and Trustee of Big Change, according to the brand’s website. Meanwhile, Sam is more focused on his Sundog Pictures production company, but he still plays an active role in Virgin’s philanthropic efforts.
In the first episode of the documentary, Branson revealed he and Joan lost their first baby together, named Clare Sarah.
Joan Branson with son Sam, Richard Branson, and daughter Holly Branson. Image credit: Photo by JMEnternational/Redferns/Getty
Who Is Richard Branson’s Sister?
Richard Branson has two sisters, Lindy and Vanessa Branson. Viewers will see Vanessa talk about her brother and their upbringing in the first episode of his docuseries.
Was Richard Branson Born Rich?
While the Virgin entrepreneur has built an impressive name for himself, it’s no thanks to family wealth.
His father, Edward James Branson, was a barrister, per Wall Street Journal, while his mother, Eve Branson was once a dancer.
According to Vanessa Branson, they had family money, but their nuclear family wasn’t particularly wealthy, and they often struggled.
When Did Richard Branson go to Space?
Branson traveled to space in July 2021 on Virgin Galatic. However, he filmed his docuseries ahead of his big expedition in case something went awry, so he’d still be able to tell his story and share it with the world.
What is Richard Branson’s Island?
Richard Branson is known for living on his beloved Necker Island. Located in the British Virgin Islands, he purchased the land for only $180,000 in 1979, Branson wrote on his website. Today the land boosts multiple estates and is known for being a celebrity safe haven, with notable guests including Princess Diana and Kate Winslet, per People.
Princess Diana and children on the beach on Necker Island. Image credit: Photo by Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images
What Is Richard Branson’s Net Worth?
Richard Branson has a net worth of $3.9 billion, according to Forbes.