John Paul DeJoria Honored with Lone Sailor Award

Did you know that entrepreneur and philanthropist John Paul DeJoria is also a veteran of the United States Navy? He will be honored for his service to country and community at the United States Navy Memorial’s 2012 Lone Sailor Awards Dinner on Tuesday, September 18.  The black tie gala will be held at The National Building Museum, 401 F Street, NW, Washington, D.C.

John Paul DeJoria’s rags-to-riches story of a first-generation American turned entrepreneur, philanthropist, government servant and pillar of the business community exemplifies the American dream.  From humble beginnings in Echo Park, California as the son of immigrant parents, DeJoria went on to complete two years of service with honors in the U.S. Navy.  Determined to make ends meet at home, he climbed the ranks of the hair care industry and in 1980, joined friend Paul Mitchell in creating John Paul Mitchell Systems, a now world-renowned professional hair care system.

Despite early challenges, John Paul Mitchell Systems quickly became one of the fastest growing privately-held companies in the United States.  Today, it sells over 100 products both domestically and internationally, with over 100 Paul Mitchell Schools nationwide.  The company ardently supports a wide variety of philanthropic causes, totaling millions of dollars in recent donations of cash, products and services to non-profit organizations in the fields of health care, social services, athletics, environmental protection and awareness and the arts.

"I joined the U.S. Navy after graduating from high school only to find that it would exceed all of my expectations.  It afforded me the opportunity to visit many foreign shores on my aircraft carrier, the USS Hornet, while learning the personal management and teamwork skills that would help me later on in my career,” said DeJoria.  “I am so proud and humbled to be acknowledged by the U.S. Navy Memorial with the Lone Sailor Award for continuing what I learned when joining the Navy as a 17 year-old."A true entrepreneur, DeJoria continues to expand and manage a diverse portfolio of businesses, most notably Patron Spirits Company, the world’s number one ultra premium tequila company, co-founded with Martin Crowley in 1989; John Paul Pet, which set a new standard for pet grooming and hygiene and actively supports programs benefiting all animals; and JP Selects, an online marketplace for sustainable brands with uncompromising principles that pride themselves on the quality of their products and in giving back.  His capacity as businessman, environmentalist and philanthropist has earned DeJoria the privilege of advising the U.S. Government and the United Nations on issues of energy, management, motivation and global thinking.

Staying true to his roots, DeJoria supports organizations that reflect on personal challenges he has faced, including the Boys and Girls Club of America and Chrysalis, a nonprofit organization that provides resources and support for homeless and low-income individuals seeking employment.  His devotion to creating a healthy and safe future for all children around the world has led him to become a great supporter of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and the Children Miracle Network.  He also serves on the Board of Directors for the Creative Coalition, Board of Directors for Robert Kennedy’s Waterkeeper Alliance and as a patron of MINESEEKER, a UK-based non-profit battling the global issue of landmine removal while assisting victims with prosthetic limbs.  

In 2006, DeJoria was appointed a Navy Admiral by the Governor of Texas and the Secretary of State, an honor that stands alongside his award as 2009 Goodwill Ambassador by the Intergovernmental Renewable Energy Organization (IREO) at the United Nations, Lifetime Business Achievement award from NAHA and the National Italian American Foundation, Citizen of the Year Dolphin Award, lifetime membership to the prestigious Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans and Boys & Girls Clubs of America Alumni Hall of Fame recognition.

The Lone Sailor Award is given to Sea Service veterans who have excelled with distinction in their respective civilian careers while exemplifying the Navy core values of Honor, Courage and Commitment.  In receiving the Lone Sailor Award, DeJoria joins an impressive list of men and women who have distinguished themselves by drawing upon their military experience.

The U.S. Navy Memorial will honor three other distinguished veterans at this year’s Lone Sailor Awards Dinner: Coast Guard veteran and Founder of J.D. Power & Associates, David Power, Navy veteran and founder of Alvarez & Associates, Everett Alvarez, and Marine Corps veteran and political satirist Mark Russell.

For more information on the U.S. Navy Memorial’s 2012 Lone Sailor Awards Dinner, including sponsorship and ticket prices, or for a list of award recipients, visit the Navy Memorial’s web site at


[Images courtesy of Linda Roth Associates]

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