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The Idol Life

Their fame will outlive them, their money will probably outlast their fame, and what these entrepreneurial geniuses learned about running businesses will be passed from generation to generation-starting with you.

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This story appears in the January 2002 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Quick. Think of the word "entrepreneur." Who comes to mind? Whether you look back in time and think of innovators such as Henry Ford or Nelson Rockefeller or look at today's headlines, each generation has just a handful of names that stand out as examples of the entrepreneurial spirit. We recently talked to five of today's entrepreneurial icons-people whose names are synonymous with success, risk-taking and independent thinking. How have they changed from their early days in business through today's volatile market, ever-changing technology and the always-crowded business landscape? And how has their entrepreneurial spark endured? Let's find out.

  Michael Dell, Dell Computer Corp.
  Anita Roddick, The Body Shop
  Ben Cohen & Jerry Greenfield, Ben & Jerry's
  Richard Branson, Virgin Group Ltd.

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