John Timpson was educated at Oundle and Nottingham University.
The Timpson family business was taken over in 1973, but 10 years later John led a £42m management buyout. In 1987 he sold the shoe shops and concentrated on building the shoe repairing and key cutting business.
Timpson now has almost 2000 branches nationwide with a turnover of £195m. It is a private business wholly owned by John Timpson and his family. Timpson is the UK’s most active employer of people from prison.
Recently widowed, John was married to his wife Alex for 47 years. He has five children and John and his wife were foster carers for 31 years during which time they fostered 90 children.
He describes his business philosophy in his book, ‘Upside Down Management’ and has a weekly column in the Daily Telegraph.
In 2004 he was awarded the CBE in the Birthday Honours List for Services to the Retail Sector, and in 2017 he was awarded a knighthood for Services to Business and Fostering.