Famous Welsh Business People

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Robert Owen
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Birthdate: May 14, 1771
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Newtown, Montgomeryshire, Wales
Died: November 17, 1858
While working as an apprentice to a clothes manufacturer, Robert Owen often spent hours reading at his employer’s library. He later explored the textile industry and led a Manchester firm. Remembered as a pioneer of the co-operative movement and utopian socialism, he improved the working conditions of factory workers.
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Michael Heseltine
(Member of House of Lords of the United Kingdom)
Michael Heseltine
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Birthdate: March 21, 1933
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Swansea, Wales, UK

Michael Heseltine is a British businessman and politician. He is credited with co-founding a privately held media company called Haymarket Media Group. In 1979, he entered the Cabinet of the UK and played a key role in advocating the 'Right to Buy' campaign, which enabled about two million families to buy their council houses.

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Laura Ashley
(Founder of 'Laura Ashley' Brand)
Laura Ashley
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Birthdate: September 7, 1925
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Dowlais, Merthyr Tydfil,, Wales
Died: September 17, 1985

Laura Ashley was a Welsh businesswoman and fashion designer. She is credited with co-founding a British textile design company called Laura Ashley plc, which became an international retail chain after some 20 years from its founding. Two years after her death, the Laura Ashley Foundation was established in order to fund arts and social welfare projects.

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Terry Matthews
(Business magnate)
Terry Matthews
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Birthdate: June 6, 1943
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Newport, Wales

Welsh-Canadian business tycoon Terry Matthews has been associated with countless companies, such as Mitel and Newbridge Networks, as their co-founder. A telecom and data networking magnate, he made it to the Forbes list of Billionaires 2021. His knighthood created diplomatic issues in Canada, which doesn’t allow acceptance of foreign titles.

Robert Tommy Dewar
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Birthdate: January 6, 1864
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Died: April 11, 1930

Thomas Robert “Tommy” Dewar, also known as Whisky Tom, was born to a distiller father, who had founded John Dewar & Sons, Ltd. in Scotland. He later expanded his family business, along with his brother, traveling to about 26 nations, and making Dewar’s an internationally renowned whiskey brand.

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Isaac Roberts
(Engineer)
Isaac Roberts
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Birthdate: January 27, 1829
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Groes, Wales
Died: July 17, 1904

British astronomer Isaac Roberts revolutionized astrophotography with his photographs of nebulae. The son of a farmer, he had initially also worked at a mechanical engineering firm. His work in astrophotography won him the Royal Astronomical Society’s gold medal. A crater on the Moon was later named after him.

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Hugh Myddelton
(Entrepreneur)
Hugh Myddelton
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Birthdate: 1560 AD
Birthplace: Denbighshire, Wales
Died: December 10, 1631

Born to the governor of the Denbigh Castle, Hugh Myddelton grew up to become a successful goldsmith and then a merchant. He later also excelled as a clothmaker. His interest in engineering led him to build a canal for the supply of clean water to London. He also owned a few mines.

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D. A. Thomas
(Industrialist)
D. A. Thomas
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Birthdate: March 26, 1856
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Ysgyborwen, Wales
Died: July 3, 1918

Welsh coal magnate D. A. Thomas expanded his family’s coal business and created Consolidated Cambrian, Ltd. He had a 22-year stint as a Liberal MP in the UK and introduced food rationing in Britain during World War I. He also survived a torpedoed ship with his swimming skills.