Celebrating 60 years of Guinness World Records

Richard Branson with his guinness world record
Image by Claire Jones
Virgin Galactic
Richard Branson's signature
Published on 9 December 2014

Some of the world’s greatest ideas have been born from random moments – it’s for this very reason that I carry a notebook with me at all times. One of my favourite random moment stories is the tale of Guinness World Records.

Richard Branson reading
Image by Claire Jones

Celebrating 60 years in publication, Guinness World Records has a long and prominent history, but - like so many great initiatives - its inception was spurred by a chance happening. The idea for the book came about in the 1950s when Guinness Brewery Managing Director, Sir Hugh Beaver attended a shooting party and argued with his host about the fastest game bird in Europe but failed to find an answer in any reference book.

On the back of the incident, Sir Hugh had an idea for a Guinness promotion, based around the concept of settling pub arguments. In 1954 he commissioned a book of facts and figures to be compiled, which went on to become an all-time best seller and one of the most trusted brands in the world.

I always enjoy flicking through the annual to see what wonderful – and wonderfully weird – things people have been up to all over the globe.

A signed note from Richard Branson inside the pages of a Guinness World Records book
Image by Claire Jones

Over the years I have been proud to have been featured seven times and also see Virgin breaking records in the publication on multiple occasions. The most recent inclusion was one of the most fun records to break – getting four people up on a kite! Talk about a hard day at the office.

Kitesurfing challenge

Guinness World Records is a wonderful celebration of achievement. It is tangible proof that we as humans can achieve great things if we put our mind to it. It encourages us to test ourselves, push the boundaries, challenge the status quo, and laugh a lot along the way. 

Richard Branson looks up through the open port hole on his trans-pacific balloon flight
First transatlantic crossing in a hot air balloon - Guinness World Records 60th anniversary
Richard Branson with his mum and dad
Image by Virgin.com

The publication encourages us to go beyond what is expected and strive for greatness. Happy 60th anniversary Guinness World Records, and congratulations to all those who have challenged themselves to grace its pages.