JOHN PAUL DeJORIA
Hall of Fame Inductee - 2004
John Paul DeJoria, noted owner of John Paul Mitchell Hair Systems, is one of the most fabled American rags-to-riches stories. An ambassador for the United Nations Environmental Project and a major captain of industry and philanthropy after having been homeless less than a quarter of a century ago. But the most important part of his story is how his long association with motorcycling and the code of brotherhood and helping others that he learned through motorcycling have led him to using his great success and his extraordinary power to inspire and to benefit the world at large as well as the motorcycle community specifically.
DeJoria has been a trouble-shooter for the UN, working out a truce between native fishing tribes in West Africa and a giant oil company that was polluting their waters. He was so effective the oil company was swayed and became a constructive force, helping the tribes. He was next sent to India to help effect non-polluting manufacturing growth. He is a driving force in solar exploration and applications. He works with the CIA, addressing its executives on management skills and its general staff on motivation and patriotism. He attributes all of his skills, as well as his desire to accomplish such important and humane acts, to his motorcycling background.
John Paul came to motorcycling at a young age, at a time when his first career efforts had failed. He found great caring support amongst his motorcycle friends. When his hard luck reduced him to living in the back of his car and feeding his toddler son by collecting soda pop bottles, a fellow biker, Lee Meyer, took them in for $22.00 a month, all John Paul could afford. Lee explained that another biker had helped him when he was similarly challenged with bad luck and knew DeJoria would pass along the code of helping those in need when he was able.
This is the guiding light that led him to save Native American tribes by regenerating their economy, to underwrite the Mexican Olympic team in the last winter games and to step in to save a top environmental activist who faced life in prison in Europe for trying to protect whales. It is behind his commitment to stop the exportation of American jobs and help rebuild jobs that have been lost. And it has led him to be extremely active in many motorcyclists supported charity events.
DeJoria’s hair products firm has sponsored the Southern California Love Ride for 13 years, assisting to raise millions for the MDA. He has organized and underwritten the Love, Peace & Happiness Ride in Austin, Texas, raising over $70,000 this year for the Austin Children’s Shelter. And he is a major sponsor of the Laconia motorcycle event. An American success story, with a heart.