#VeteranOfTheDay Navy Veteran John Paul DeJoria

Navy Veteran John Paul DeJoria is today’s Veteran of the Day.

Today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is Navy Veteran John Paul DeJoria, who founded two successful business enterprises and became one of the most successful entrepreneurs in the world.

John Paul DeJoria was born in 1944 to Greek and Italian immigrants. He was raised in Los Angeles, California, by a single mother who often struggled financially to provide for her children. At one point, these struggles even led to young DeJoria being placed in foster care. Despite her struggles, his mother always taught her children the importance of generosity. This would be essential to his later success.

DeJoria worked hard to overcome his economic difficulties, motivated by the prospect of supporting his mother. As a young boy, he sold Christmas cards and newspapers. Later, he worked as a janitor. After graduating from high school, he joined the Navy, with which he served for two years and deployed aboard USS Hornet. He later stated his service taught him “personal management and teamwork skills that would help [him] later on in his career.”

After leaving the Navy, DeJoria worked several jobs, selling encyclopedias and again working as a janitor. Although he first faced many difficulties, he eventually succeeded in jobs across the cosmetics and hair care industry before becoming a consultant.

While working as a consultant, DeJoria joined his friend Paul Mitchell to form John Paul Mitchell Systems, a beauty company. Despite having only $700 to launch their business, DeJoria and Mitchell succeeded in their effort. By 2018, John Paul Mitchell Systems was worth nearly $3 billion.

Beyond founding John Paul Mitchell Systems, DeJoria co-founded a tequila business called Patrón Spirits International, which he later sold to the rum brand Bacardi. His success has led him to become one of the world’s wealthiest individuals, having a net worth of around $3 billion.

Living by his mother’s advice on generosity, DeJoria has used his wealth to support others. He promised, for example, to give away half of his wealth to improve human civilization and was a patron of Mineseeker, an organization established to address problems caused by landmines. He also co-founded the non-profit Grow Appalachia, which fosters the growth of organic fruits and vegetables among families in need. He has also financially supported 165 charities.

In recognition of his philanthropic work, DeJoria was awarded the Sustainability Award by Fashion Group International and inducted into the Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans. For his use of his Navy experience in leading a successful civilian career, he was also awarded the Lone Sailor Award in 2012.

We honor his service.


Nominate a Veteran for #VeteranOfTheDay

Do you want to light up the face of a special Veteran? Have you been wondering how to tell your Veteran they are special to you? You’re in luck! VA’s #VeteranOfTheDay social media feature is an opportunity to highlight your Veteran and his/her service.

It’s easy to nominate a Veteran. All it takes is an email to [email protected] with as much information as you can put together, along with some good photos. Visit our blog post about nominating to learn how to create the best submission.


Writer: Khaled Maalouf

Editors: Marisa Bunton, Cate Manning

Researchers: John Bergstrom

Graphic Designer: Yasmine Pierce

Related Articles

5 Essential Frameworks for Preventing Violent Child Death

The U.S. has a violent child death problem. Developing strategies to prevent violent child deaths death from firearms and traffic crashes is a demanding task that requires consideration of numerous upstream, interrelated, and tangential issues. To help safety advocates develop strategies to prevent violent child death, we compiled five frameworks to help: Understand and explain …
The post 5 Essential Frameworks for Preventing Violent Child Death appeared first on Salud America.

What Are the Risk and Protective Factors for Violent Child Death?

Gun violence and traffic crashes may seem like unpredictable events. But they are not random. They are systematic. Data reveal trends and patterns in gun violence and traffic crashes that can help us identify risk factors and protective factors. This is especially important for addressing violent child deaths. So what does the data show? Join …
The post What Are the Risk and Protective Factors for Violent Child Death? appeared first on Salud America.

As Social Need Screening Advances, Transportation Remains an Afterthought

Some big changes in 2022 and 2023 have set up the healthcare sector to advance screening for non-medical social needs in 2024 and beyond. This is great news as we work to address social determinants of health (SDoH), improve health outcomes, and reduce health disparities. But one key social need – transportation – isn’t getting …
The post As Social Need Screening Advances, Transportation Remains an Afterthought appeared first on Salud America.

We Need to Recognize Toxic Stress as a Health Condition with Clinical Implications

There is a common health condition with serious medical consequences that has not been nationally recognized by the medical or public health community—toxic stress response. Toxic stress is the body’s response to prolonged trauma─like abuse or discrimination─with no support. It can harm lifelong mental, physical, and behavioral health, especially for Latinos and others of color. …
The post We Need to Recognize Toxic Stress as a Health Condition with Clinical Implications appeared first on Salud America.