John Paul DeJoria - From Rags to Riches

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John Paul Dejoria

John Paul Dejoria

Co-founder and chairman of the board

John Paul DeJoria is a first-generation American turned entrepreneur, philanthropist and pillar of the business community. He has struggled against the odds not only to achieve success, but to share his success with others, always living his motto: “Success unshared is failure.”

In 2011, John Paul 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 support the core values of his companies: sustainability, social responsibility and animal-friendliness.


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John Paul's Story

Scroll through the timeline to learn more about our co-founder.

JP with his brother and mum


The Beginning

John Paul DeJoria is born on April 13 in the Echo Park neighborhood of Los Angeles, California.



Entrepreneurial Spirit

John Paul begins selling Christmas cards and newspapers to help support the family.

John in the navy


Serving Our Country

John Paul graduates from high school and goes on to serve with honors in the U.S. Navy.

John Paul's high school photo


Determined to Succeed

John Paul returns to Los Angeles and struggles to make ends meet. He does everything from selling encyclopedias to pumping gasoline, and even becomes homeless at one time. Determined to find success, he begins collecting bottles to stay afloat.

Pan Am line-up


Man of The Year

John Paul receives the Man of the Year Award from Collier’s Encyclopedia for being their top salesman.

JP meets Paul


JP Meets Paul

While working for another hair care company as a district sales manager, John Paul meets Paul Mitchell. They quickly become friends.

John Paul and Paul


A New Partnership

John Paul and Paul Mitchell team up and launch our company with just $700 and three products.

Patron Tequila logo


The Next Big Success

John Paul co-founds the Patrón Spirits Company with business partner Martin Crowley.



Primetime Appearance

John Paul, along with award-winning actor James Brolin, appears on an episode of Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous, inspiring viewers with his rags-to-riches success story.

John Paul with the Dalai Lama


A Meeting with the Dalai Lama

John Paul and the Dalai Lama meet in Los Angeles to exchange ideas on world peace. John Paul shares how our global family of hairdressers and distributors is helping to make the world a better place.

JP in the CIA


An Invitation from the CIA

The CIA asks John Paul to train their team on the unique culture of Paul Mitchell® and how they can apply it. He leads a second training in 2001 (just weeks after the 9/11 attack) to share our culture on dealing with change.

Happy seal with Paul Mitchell brush


Protecting Animals

John Paul and his 18-year-old daughter Alexis broadcast from the bay of St. Lawrence, Canada with Sea Shepherd. On behalf of hairstylists around the globe, they announce that nearly 100,000 baby seals were saved from the massive seal hunt.

John at Global Green


Supporting Sustainability

John Paul and his wife co-chair Global Green USA’s 6th Annual Green Cross Millennium Awards to recognize people who are committed to a sustainable world.



Sharing His Success

Once homeless himself, John Paul receives the Spirit of Chrysalis award in honor of the many ways he gives back to Los Angeles’ homeless population.



In the Big City

John Paul becomes the only person in the professional beauty industry to have a seat on the New York Stock Exchange.



A Great Honor

The Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans inducts John Paul as a lifetime member in honor of his inspirational story. He becomes the first person in the professional beauty industry to receive this prestigious honor—the only award given in the Supreme Court of the United States.

John Paul holding his pony tail


A Haircut for a Cause

The world’s most expensive haircut? John Paul agrees to cut off his signature ponytail on the Leeza At Night show to raise $50,000 for the Red Cross Tsunami Relief Effort.

John Paul with his dogs


The Start of John Paul Pet™

John Paul launches John Paul Pet, a line of products specially formulated for our four-legged friends.

John Paul with Nelson Mandela, Richard Branson and Brad Pitt.


Making a Difference

As a patron of Mineseeker Foundation, John Paul—along with Nelson Mandela, Brad Pitt and Richard Branson—helps eliminate landmines throughout Africa. John Paul also sponsors a prosthetics program for landmine victims, with a hairdresser from Mozambique becoming one of the first to benefit.

JP with the Governor of Texas


A Prestigious Recognition

The U.S. Secretary of Defense and Governor of Texas Rick Perry commission John Paul as a full Admiral of the Navy.

JP Home Office


A Commitment to the Industry

John Paul signs a trust dictating that no one can take Paul Mitchell hair care products out of the beauty industry under any circumstances. The trust is valid for 360 years, ensuring that our products will remain professional and stay where they started.



Honoring John Paul

The Blazers Youth Services Learning Center honors John Paul for his lifelong commitment to giving back.



Protecting Our Natural Resources

John Paul and our company give funding to the Mirador Basin project in northern Guatemala, a vital rainforest that’s home to the largest and earliest cities in the ancient Mayan world. John Paul and his son John Anthony travel to the area and dedicate a plaque placed on the world’s largest pyramid to hairdressers worldwide.

Amnesty International


Standing Up for Human Rights

John Paul and his wife, Eloise, represent our global family of hairdressers on posters for Amnesty International, the largest human rights organization in the world.

Invisible children


Supporting Kids in Need

John Paul and Eloise join Paul Mitchell Schools Future Professionals in Louisiana for Invisible Children’s annual event which raises awareness for displaced Ugandan children.

Fuel Poster


On the Big Screen

Tinseltown shows its green side! John Paul takes his passion for the planet to the big screen as executive producer of the award-winning documentary FUEL.



Goodwill Ambassador

John Paul is named 2009 Goodwill Ambassador by the Intergovernmental Renewable Energy Organization at the United Nations. He addresses sustainable energy solutions and accepts the award on behalf of the professional beauty industry.

Night of stars


Recognizing John Paul’s Efforts

John Paul receives the Sustainability Award at Fashion Group International's 25th Annual Night of Stars for his dedication to environmental preservation. He accepts the award on behalf of all Paul Mitchell staff, distributors and Paul Mitchell Schools Future Professionals.



Growing a Healthy Future

John Paul starts Grow Appalachia, a non-profit initiative that teaches families in need how to grow, prepare and preserve organic fruits and vegetables in a region with little access 
to fresh, nutritious food.



A New Charitable Foundation

JP's Peace, Love & Happiness Foundation is started to support John Paul's favorite non-profit groups.

John Paul Dejoria with Barbara Walters


Sharing His Story

John Paul is interviewed by Barbara Walters on 20/20. He speaks about his humble beginnings and philanthropic efforts.

John Paul Dejoria at the Forbes 30 under 30 party


A Star-Studded Event

John Paul hosts the Forbes 30 Under 30 party at his home in Austin, TX.

John Paul Dejoria on Shark Tank


Guest Starring on Shark Tank

John Paul is a featured panel member on ABC’s hit television show Shark Tank, where he served as a mentor and invests in the Tree-T-Pee.



A Celebration of Philanthropy

John Paul, along with Robert DeNiro, is honored at Celebrity Fight Night for his philanthropic and humanitarian efforts.

Rok Mobile


Introducing ROK MOBILE

ROK MOBILE, a revolutionary cellular service that combines the mobile and music industries, is founded by John Paul.