"We didn't know whether he was 99 percent stupid and 1 percent rather exceptional. We hung on to that 1 percent".
Here's an intriguing article and interview of Richard Bransons parents, Ted and Eve Branson.
Richard Branson has now committed himself and his fortune to saving our environment. In the article his mother gives young Richard a lesson in putting others before ones self.
Everybody says Richard gets his gumption from you. Did you do anything in particular to foster that?
EVE: Well, I didn't want him to be a namby-pamby little boy like all the other little boys. He was timid, so I used to make him perform. I said, "When you're timid, you're just thinking of yourself! Think of the other person—put him at ease, get him a drink." I used to get very cross when he was shy.
This at thirteen years of age:
1963 -- Branson is expelled from his second boarding school, Cliff View House, after being caught sneaking back into his room late one night. When asked by the headmaster about his whereabouts, Branson had replied, "I was on my way back from your daughter's room, sir."
He most commonly names Nelson Mandela's autobiography, Long Walk to Freedom, explaining that Mandela is "one of the most inspiring men I have ever met and had the honour to call my friend."