Success unshared is failure.
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 neighborhood 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. He grew up in Atwater Village on Garden Avenue and then Revere. He attended Atwater Elementary School and John Marshall High School. When his single mother proved unable to support both children, they were sent to an East Los Angeles foster home.
In 1966, when he was 22, his then wife abandoned DeJoria and their two-year-old son. She secretly took the rent money from months past and the only car they owned. Two days after she left, DeJoria and his son were evicted from their apartment for nonpayment and forced to live on the street. This was the first, but not the only time, DeJoria became homeless.
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 for $700 and while living in a 20-year-old Rolls Royce automobile.
DeJoria co-founded the Patrón Spirits Company in 1989, is a founding partner of the House of Blues nightclub chain, and has interests in Madagascar Oil Ltd., Pyrat Rum, Smokey Mountain Bison Farm, llc, 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 developer 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.
In 2007, a documentary named Good Fortune was released depicting the struggle and philanthropic work of DeJoria which later won the Audience Award for Best Documentary at Sundance.
DeJoria is a supporter of Food4Africa, Mineseeker, and Blazer House. In 2008, DeJoria traveled to sub-Saharan Africa to join Nelson Mandela in his efforts to help feed over 17,000 orphaned children through Food4Africa. In the same year his company Paul Mitchell helped provide over 400,000 life-saving meals for the children. Dejoria is a co-creator of Grow Appalachia, an organization begun in 2009 which helps promote healthy food and teaching farming skills.
In 2012, using a video, he showed his support for Captain Paul Watson of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, when Watson was detained in Germany for interfering with shark finning operations.
DeJoria has been active in the film industry as an executive Producer and actor. He made a cameo appearance as himself, in the 2008 comedy You Don't Mess with the Zohan, and also in The Big Tease as the fictional John Paul Mitchell. DeJoria also made a cameo appearance in the Showtime series Weeds season 2. He narrated and appeared in television commercials for Patron in November 2011. He appeared on the November 1, 2013, broadcast of the ABC reality series Shark Tank as a guest investor, replacing series regular Robert Herjavec. With a 2017 net worth of US $3.1 billion, he is the 3rd richest "shark" of all time on the show, behind series regular Mark Cuban (2017 net worth: US $3.3 billion) and fellow "guest shark" Sir Richard Branson (2017 net worth: US $5.1 billion).