28/08/2012 07:02 BST | Updated 29/08/2012 11:59 BST

Surprisingly Large Number Of Entrepreneurs Share Romantic Birthday

Can you guess what links EasyGroup's chairman Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou, Media giant WPP's chief executive Martin Sorrell and Scottish physicist Charles Wilson?

Each of these phenomenal entrepreneurs was born on St Valentine's day, and they're not the only ones.

Sir Stelios was born in 1967 in Athens, the middle sibling of three children. His father, Loucas Haji-Ioannou, was an extremely successful ship owner. Sir Stelios attended secondary school in Athens before heading to London to study economics at the London School of Economics.

He went on to obtain an MSc in Shipping, Trade & Finance from Cass Business School. When Sir Stelios was 25, his father gave him £30m to set up his own shipping company, Stelmar Shipping,which he floated on the New York Stock Exchange in 2001.


When he was 28, Sir Stelios launched EasyJet, before launching EasyCar, EasyBus and EasyHotel and other brands with the iconic orange-coloured branding in the following years.

His next venture sees him tackle the African travel industry with FastJet - a low cost carrier earmarked to launch at the end of this summer.

Sir Martin Sorrell meanwhile was born in 1945 in London to a Jewish family who's ancestry includes Russian, Polish and Romanian roots.

Educated at the independent Haberdashers' Aske's Boys' School, he then studied at Christ's College, Cambridge, before undertaking an MBA from Harvard University.

Sir Martin joined global media giant Saatchi & Saatchi in 1975, and was group finance director from 1977 until 1984. He was considered so crucial to the firm's success that he was often referred to as "the third brother", reflecting the power he held.

But his fame comes from his decision to invest in Wire and Plastic Products, a British wire shopping basket manufacturer in 1985, before becoming its chief executive in 1986.


In this role he acquired small advertising-related companies, purchasing 18 in three years. He made his name by engaging in a so-called hostile takeover of J Walter Thompson in 1987, before acquiring Ogilvy and Mather.

Since 2000, WPP has also acquired two more integrated, global agency networks, Young & Rubicam Brands and Grey.

In 1997, he was appointed an Ambassador for British Business by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, before joining the Office's Panel aimed at rebranding Britain abroad.

Scottish physicist Charles Wilson is probably the least famous of the three, but his contribution to the world of science and engineering is substantial.

Born in 1869 to a family of farmers just outside of Edinburgh, Scotland, Wilson lost his father at the age of four, and shortly afterwards moved with his mother and the rest of the family to Manchester.

He studied biology at Owen's College, now the University of Manchester, before obtaining a scholarship to Cambridge, where he became interested in physics and chemistry.

Wilson went on to create the Wilson Cloud Chamber - a device used to measure ionising radiation in air particles. His invention was the world's first detector of radioactivity and nuclear transmutation. Wilson was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1927.

Other business supremos born on St Valentine's Day include three-time mayor of New York City Michael Bloomberg and John Gotti - a businessman who was alleged to have run the Gambino crime family that operated in Florida, New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania in the 1980s.