Branson, Sir Richard (Richard Charles Nicholas Branson), 1950-, British business mogul and adventurer. He left school at 16 to start his first business, the magazine Student. In 1970 he began a mail-order record business, named Virgin because of his inexperience in the field. He opened a discount record store in 1971 and Virgin Records, a trendsetting label in punk and new wave rock music that later signed rock superstars, two years later. In 1984 Branson became part owner of an airline, renamed Virgin Atlantic, which achieved success, but in 1992 he was forced to sell Virgin Records to finance the airline. His Virgin-brand business empire has expanded since the 1980s to become one of the largest privately owned conglomerates in Europe, with some 200 enterprises in the finance, retail, Internet, hotel, telecommunications, gambling, and transport industries.

Branson, who was knighted in 1999, also has set several water and air speed records. In 1986 he was part of a two-man powerboat crew that crossed the Atlantic in record time. The next year he and another adventurer were the first to cross the Atlantic in a hot-air balloon, and in 1991 they became the first to fly the Pacific. In the 1990s he made several unsuccessful attempts to fly a balloon around the world. Branson has survived a number of life-threatening crashes.

See his autobiography (1998) and Screw It, Let's Do It: Lessons in Life (2006); biography by M. Brown (rev. ed. 1998).

Branson, city (1990 pop. 3,706), Taney co., SW Mo.; inc. 1904. The primarily residential city's economy is based on tourism, especially to theaters offering live, often lavish country-music shows. With over 30 entertainment theaters, Branson draws millions of visitors annually. Other attractions include the Veterans Memorial Museum, the Roy Rogers-Dale Evans Museum, a scenic railroad, lakes, and caverns. Nearby is the College of the Ozarks.

The Town of Branson is a Statutory Town located in Las Animas County, Colorado, United States The population was 77 at the U.S. Census 2000. It is the southernmost town in the state of Colorado. The town is from the New Mexico border.

It is the site of a state supported online high school open to Colorado residents of school age. Students must have been enrolled in a Colorado public or charter school and be no older than 20 on October 1 of the school year.

Branson is located 35 miles east of Trinidad, Colorado, by unpaved county road, in the Great Plains. It is a ranching community today. Farming in the area was severely impacted by the dust bowl. Branson is much smaller than it once was in more optimistic days and features some picturesque abandoned buildings.

The town was first known as Wilson, or Wilson Switch; then as Coloflats, Colorado. A post office was established in 1915, and its name was changed to Branson in 1918. The town is named after Josiah F. Branson who platted the town on his land. The town was incorporated in 1921. Branson is located north of a break in the mesas which separate Southeast Colorado from Northwest New Mexico, the route of a minor branch of the Santa Fe Trail. It was founded near a switch, Wilson Switch, of the Denver, Texas, and Fort Worth Railroad, now the Colorado and Southern Railway. A depot was built in 1918. Despite being unsuitable for farming, many homesteaders attempted dryland farming in the early 20th century. In good years there were bountiful harvests of grain and in the 1920s the town boasted 1000 people and 3 grain elevators as well as facilities such as a bank and a newspaper. After the drought and dust bowl of the 1930s population decreased rapidly as the economy turned from farming to ranching.

U.S. Census 2000 information


Branson is located at (37.015291, -103.883684).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 0.2 square miles (0.6 km²), all of it land.

A small portion of Branson lies in New Mexico also.


As of the census of 2000, there were 77 people, 37 households, and 24 families residing in the town. The population density was 309.6 people per square mile (118.9/km²). There were 43 housing units at an average density of 172.9/sq mi (66.4/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 97.40% White, 1.30% Native American, and 1.30% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 19.48% of the population.

There were 37 households out of which 32.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 45.9% were married couples living together, 16.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.1% were non-families. 35.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 18.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.08 and the average family size was 2.63.

In the town the population was spread out with 26.0% under the age of 18, 1.3% from 18 to 24, 29.9% from 25 to 44, 20.8% from 45 to 64, and 22.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 42 years. For every 100 females there were 71.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 62.9 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $24,583, and the median income for a family was $23,214. Males had a median income of $19,167 versus $20,000 for females. The per capita income for the town was $14,933. There were 26.9% of families and 25.0% of the population living below the poverty line, including 33.3% of under eighteens and none of those over 64.

In addition to the material from the 2000 census this article incorporates material from the Wikinfo article.

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