Early Life and EducationEdit
John Paul Jones DeJoria was born the second son of an Italian immigrant father and a Greek immigrant mother on April 13, 1944 in the Echo Park neighbourhood of Los Angeles, California. His parents divorced by the time he was two years old, and at nine he began selling Christmas cards and newspapers with his older brother to support his family. When his single mother proved unable to support both children, they were sent to an East Los Angeles foster home.
DeJoria spent much of his youth in a street gang in East Los Angeles, but changed when he was told that he would "never succeed at anything in life" by a math teacher at John Marshall High School. He graduated in 1962 and spent two years in the United States Navy, after which he floated through a series of jobs ranging from janitor to insurance salesman.
DeJoria entered the world of hair care as an employee of Redken Laboratories. He was fired from this position, he claims over a disagreement on business strategies. In 1980, he formed John Paul Mitchell Systems with hairdresser Paul Mitchell and a loan from $700. In 1989, Paul Mitchell died and was replaced by his son, Angus as company co-owner. As of 2011, John Paul Mitchell Systems had revenues of $900 million annually.
DeJoria is involved in a number of other business ventures. The Patron Spirits Company he co-founded in 1989 with business partner Martin Crowley sells more than 2 million cases of tequila annually. He was a founding partner of the House of Blues nightclub chain, subsequently sold to Live Nation for $350 million in 2006, and has interests in Pyrat Run, Ultimat Vodka, Solar Utility, Sun King Solar, Touchstone Natural Gas, Three Star Energy, Diamond Audio, a Harley Davidson dealership, a diamond company (DeJoria), mobile technology developed ROK AMERICAS, the John Paul Pet company, which does hair and personal grooming for animals, and J&D Acquisitions LLC, the parent company for the Larson, Striper, Triumph, Marquis and Carver boat companies formed with Minneapolis-based investor Irwin L. Jacobs.
DeJoria made a cameo appearance as his own former business partner, Paul Mitchell, in the 2008 comedy You Don't Mess with the Zohan, trying to convince Zohan to join his salon and also in The Big Tease as the fictional John Paul Mitchell, who acted as a judge in the Platinum Scissors competition in which Craig Ferguson's character, Crawford, was competing. DeJoria also made a cameo appearance in the hit Showtime series Weeds season 2. DeJoria both narrates and is seen in television commercials for Patron in November 2011. In 2012, using a video, DeJoria showed his support for Captain Paul Watson of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, when Paul was being detained in Germany for interfering with shark finning operations.