Photo: Dyson LLC / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)
Born: 2 May 1947 (age 73)
Born Place: Cromer, Norfolk, England
Spouse(s): Deirdre Hindmarsh (m. 1968)
Byam Shaw School of Art
Royal College of Art
Business magnateIndustrial designerAcademic administrator
Net worth: Increase US$28.6 Billion (April 2, 2021)
Order of Merit (2016)
Knight Bachelor (2007)
Commander of the Order of the British Empire (1998)
Fellow of the Royal Society (2015)
Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering (2005)
Sir James Dyson OM CBE RDI FRS FREng FCSD FIEE (born 2 May 1947) is a British inventor, industrial designer, landowner, and entrepreneur who founded Dyson Ltd.
Traditionally, he is best known as the inventor of the Dual Cyclone bagless vacuum cleaner, which works on the principle of cyclonic separation. According to the Sunday Times Rich List 2020, he is Britain’s richest person with an estimated net worth of £16.2 billion.
He served as the Provost of the Royal College of Art from August 2011 to July 2017 and opened a new University, the Dyson Institute of Engineering and Technology, on Dyson’s Wiltshire Campus in September 2017.
EARLY LIFE & EDUCATION
James Dyson was born 2 May 1947 in Cromer, Norfolk, one of three children. He was educated at Gresham’s School, an independent boarding school in Holt, Norfolk, from 1956 to 1965, when his father died of prostate cancer. He excelled at long-distance running: “I was quite good at it, not because I was physically good, but because I had more determination. I learned determination from it.”
He spent one year (1965–1966) at the Byam Shaw School of Art, and then studied furniture and interior design at the Royal College of Art (1966–1970) before moving into engineering. It was whilst attending the Royal College of Art to study fine art that Dyson made the switch to industrial design due in part to the tutorage of Anthony Hunt, the renowned structural engineer.
HONOURS & AWARDS
- In 1997 Dyson was awarded the Prince Philip Designers Prize.
- Dyson was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 1998 New Year Honours for services to industrial design.
- In 2000, he received the Lord Lloyd of Kilgerran Award.
- He received an honorary doctorate from the University of Bath in 2000.
- In 2005 Dyson was elected a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering (FREng) and appointed a Royal Designer for Industry.
- Dyson was appointed Knight Bachelor in the 2007 New Year Honours for services to business.
- Dyson was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS) in 2015.
- Dyson was appointed to the Order of Merit (OM) in the 2016 New Year Honours for achievements in industrial design.
- In 2017 Dyson was awarded IEEE Honorary Membership.
- Dyson was provost of the Royal College of Art in London until 1 July 2017, having succeeded Sir Terence Conran in August 2011, and is patron of the Design & Technology Association.
- He was chair of the board of trustees of the Design Museum, “the first in the world to showcase design of the manufactured object”, until suddenly resigning in September 2004, saying the museum had “become a style showcase” instead of “upholding its mission to encourage serious design of the manufactured object”.
- In February 2019 Dyson was elected a foreign member of the United States National Academy of Engineering.
Dyson married Deirdre Hindmarsh in 1968. They have three children; two sons and a daughter. In 2003, Dyson paid £15 million for Dodington Park, a 300-acre (1.2 km2) Georgian estate in South Gloucestershire close to Chipping Sodbury.
He and his wife own Domaine des Rabelles, near Tourtour, France, and a house in Chelsea, London. His vessel Nahlin is the largest British-flagged and owned superyacht with an overall length of 91 meters (299 ft), and was ranked 36th in a 2013 survey of the world’s 100 biggest yachts.
In July 2019, Dyson spent £43 million on a 21,108 square foot (1,961.0 m2) triplex flat at the top of the Guoco Tower, the tallest building in Singapore. He later sold the flat in October 2020 for £36 million. Dyson has also invested heavily into buying agricultural lands across Lincolnshire, Oxfordshire, and Gloucestershire.