John Paul DeJoria’s rags-to-riches biography exemplifies the American dream—he is a first-generation American turned entrepreneur, philanthropist, and pillar of the business community. Once homeless, he has struggled against the odds to achieve success, launching multiple global enterprises, while always supporting his motto, “Success Unshared is Failure.”
In 1980, John Paul and hairstylist Paul Mitchell converted a partially borrowed $700 into what is today the largest privately held salon hair care line, producing more than 100 products, with a presence in over 100 countries. DeJoria and Mitchell had a vision to start a company that would provide tools of success for hair care professionals, their salons, and the entire beauty industry. This vision holds true today—despite lucrative offers from public corporations, John Paul refuses to sell because of the vow he took to stand by the professional beauty industry.
John Paul’s love of tequila brought him to Mexico—in 1989, he co-founded Patrón, the first ultra-premium tequila, and now the world’s number one ultra-premium tequila. Patrón Spirits International produced 1,000 cases of Patrón in its first year, and has grown to over 3 million cases of all their products today. In addition to Patrón tequilas and liqueurs, the company’s portfolio includes Pyrat ultra-premium Caribbean rum and Ultimat vodka from Poland.
John Paul went on to co-found John Paul Pet, ROK Mobile and AuBio Life Sciences—like his previous ventures, they are privately held companies with high ethical standards and reputations for integrity. John Paul Pet is a line of pH balanced pet grooming and hygiene products developed from John Paul’s expertise in hair care. John Paul Pet shampoos and conditioners don’t irritate sensitive pet skin, and the entire line is “tested on humans first” to ensure effectiveness and safety for all pets (John Paul revolutionized the professional salon industry by banning animal testing for Paul Mitchell products). ROK Mobile is a no- contract, mobile carrier that provides nationwide 4G LTE coverage and unlimited voice, text, data, accidental life insurance and telemedical service, and music for $49.99/month, and Aubio, John Paul’s latest revolutionary venture, is an OTC cold sore treatment gel that treats this common condition (3.7 billion people suffer from cold sores) with proven, quick-acting plant based remedies.
Throughout the length of his success, John Paul has made philanthropy paramount. In 2011, he signed Bill Gates and Warren Buffet’s “The Giving Pledge” as a formal promise to continue giving back. The same year, he established JP’s Peace, Love & Happiness Foundation as a hub for his charitable investments, which span the core values of his companies: sustainability, social responsibility and animal-friendliness.
JP launched Grow Appalachia in 2009—the organization aims to empower hunger-stricken people of Appalachia by providing skills and resources to grow organic, nutritious food and teach them how to prepare and preserve it in a healthy way. In its first year, Grow Appalachia participants grew 120,000 pounds of food, feeding more than 2,800 people; in 2016, the program impacted more than 60,000 people, including creation of 100+ jobs in central Appalachia through gardening projects. In total, over 3 million pounds of food have been grown by individuals and families in the program.
John Paul’s charitable work expands worldwide through his work with global organizations, renowned world leaders, and A-list personalities. He aligned with the late Nelson Mandela and 46664 to raise awareness of the global HIV/AIDS epidemic, supports Robert Kennedy, Jr. and his clean water efforts via Waterkeeper Alliance, and rainforest conservation and reforestation projects in Peru and Guatemala through an alliance with Reforest’Action. DeJoria also has a long-standing relationship with Sea Shepherd. He is an advisory board member, and traveled to the Gulf of St. Lawrence with the conservation society to stand against the Canadian Seal Hunt in 1998. In 2017, the M/V John Paul DeJoria, a 110-foot Coast Guard cutter ship joined the organization’s fleet, and thanks to his generosity, will embark on its first campaign, an anti-shark finning mission later this year.
John Paul is also an active producer of conscious-raising television and films. He has produced more than 20 successful movies and TV shows. In partnership with Ricky Schroder Productions, he produced the 6-part documentary series, My Fighting Season for AT&T’s Audience Network, which captures the intensity of American soldiers serving in Afghanistan. DeJoria also co-executive produced Racing Extinction, the groundbreaking species extinction documentary by Louie Psihoyos, Academy Award Winning director of The Cove. Currently, he and the Tickells are working together on their next documentary, Kiss the Ground, which shows an incredible solution to removing carbon from the atmosphere and reversing climate change.
John Paul has been profiled for his corporate and philanthropic initiatives across a multitude of media outlets including 20/20, CNN, Forbes, Fortune, Inc., and Fox, Fox Business News, Bloomberg, CNBC and NBC, and recently appeared as a mentor for budding entrepreneurs via a guest shark appearance on Shark Tank.