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Richard Branson on Building an Empire

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This story appears in the June 2012 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Sir Richard Branson is in a reflective mood. Almost 40 years after the launch of the Virgin Records label vaulted him into the global consciousness, Branson is in Los Angeles to collect a special Grammy Award celebrating his contributions to the music business, and the honor finds him looking back on his transformation from industry interloper to institution.

"I did a blog the other day saying, 'If you didn't know how old you are, how old do you think you would be?'" Branson says, sipping tea over brunch at the Sunset Marquis, the legendary West Hollywood hotel favored by rock 'n' roll royals. "I feel like I'm still in my 20s, although I'm obviously not. I still enjoy life enormously. I throw myself into it as much as I did when I was in my 20s."

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