Navy veteran, entrepreneur and philanthropist John Paul DeJoria was 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 was held at The National Building Museum, 401 F Street, NW, Washington, D.C.
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.
"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."
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.