Richard Branson to scoop German media prize: organisers

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British entrepreneur Richard Branson has been awarded the 2010 German media prize, previously handed to such luminaries as former US president Bill Clinton and the Dalai Lama, organisers said Friday.

The tycoon has been invited to receive the prize on January 24 when German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle will make a speech in his honour, organisers Media Control said.

"The jury is honouring a globally active businessman, whose creativity and innovation has become a force for good in international cooperation, human development and the preservation of the environment," they said in a statement.

Famous for his Virgin brand, encompassing businesses from record shops to mobile phone outlets to airlines, Branson continues to have fingers in several pies.

The billionaire's latest ventures include a digital magazine tailored for viewing on Apple's popular iPad tablet computers and "Virgin Galactic", which aims to offer commercial space travel within 18 months.

Other previous winners of the award include former German leaders Helmut Kohl and Gerhard Schroeder, Nelson Mandela, Queen Rania of Jordan, US tennis star Andre Agassi and his wife Steffi Graf as well as Angela Merkel, current German chancellor.

© 2010 AFP

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