Eve Branson, the 96-year-old mother of billionaire Richard Branson, has died from COVID-19.
The founder of Virgin Group announced his mother’s death Sunday in a blog post, CNN reported.
In the announcement, he said his mother “held on for one last victory, managing to fight off the virus, but had expended all of her energy in the process.”
Richard Branson said his sister Vanessa and nephew Louis were with his mother until the end.
“Rather than mourn her loss, I want to celebrate her wonderful life, her tremendous spirit, the joy she brought to so many, and the love she gave us all,” he wrote.
Branson said his mother took glider lessons dressing as a boy, then enlisted in the WRENS in World War II. She also was a ballet dancer who toured Germany, an actress in the West End and was an air hostess on British South American Airways.
“It is no exaggeration to say I owe my career to mum,” Branson said.
He said his mother bankrolled him after she found a necklace on the street. Police said she could keep it so she sold it, giving the cash to her son.
“Without that £100, I could never have started Virgin,” he said.
Eve Branson founded The Eve Branson Foundation to help improve the lives of women and girls in the Atlas Mountains, and to provide education and health care to those who need it.
She also penned the autobiography of her life, “Mum’s the Word.”