Father was a drill sergeant stationed at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. R.J. claims he taught himself to read at age 3; connected sounds from TV with letters on cereal box. Studied business at Radford U., then law at U. of Virginia. With partners (a physician and a pharmacist), founded pharmaceutical distribution outfit General Injectables & Vaccines 1983. Sold stake for $70 million 1998. Launched New River Pharmaceutical 1996 to target thyroid ailments, ADHD. Sold to Shire last year for $2.6 billion; personally netted $1.2 billion. Plowed proceeds from both sales into private equity firm Third Security. Bird lover owns falcon, eagle, owl, hawks. Writes, produces electronic music in personal recording studio.