How shampoo and tequila turned a poor boy from Echo Park into a billionaire

No. 261 on this year’s list of the World’s Billionaires compiled by Forbes magazine is a gentleman named John Paul DeJoria. The magazine estimates that he’s worth $2.65 billion, a fortune amassed in part by co-founding hair care products maker Paul Mitchell Systems and tequila maker Patron. But, before he became wealthy, the 65-year-old entrepreneur says he was raised by a single mother in Echo Park, according to various accounts. Where exactly in Echo Park is not clear and, in some accounts, he is also said to have grown up in East Los Angeles. But, in a 2006 interview with the LA Business Journal, DeJoria recalls growing up in Echo Park in the 1950s. In a separate interview with Donny Deutsch on CNBC, DeJoria remembers Echo Park this way:

“We didn’t know we didn’t have anything because we were able to eat … We were okay. We didn’t know we were in the impoverished part of town … We were happy.”

Image from CNBC
h/t to Kevin Kuzma

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