In this success story, we will discuss Elon Musk, the CEO and CTO of SpaceX, the chief product architect of Tesla Motors, the chairman of SolarCity, and the co-founder of PayPal. Musk is also working on the Hyperloop, a high-speed transportation system. Elon Musk invests in projects that have the potential to change the world. Musk is not only an entrepreneur, but also an inventor, innovator, and engineer: he works on the design of electric cars and spaceships.
The increase in Tesla’s share price on Thursday pushed Musk past Jeff Bezos, who had been the richest person since 2017 and is now worth approximately $184 billion.
Musk’s wealth surge over the past year represents the fastest rise to the top of the rich list in history — and represents a dramatic financial turnaround for the outspoken entrepreneur who was in the news just 18 months ago for Tesla’s rapid cash burn and his personal leverage against the company’s stock. Musk began 2020 with a net worth of about $27 billion and was barely in the top 50 richest people.
Famous people’s biographies frequently contain pivotal events that propel them to acclaim. There were at least two such episodes in Elon Musk’s biography. The first was Musk’s decision when he was only 17 years old. After graduating from a secondary school in Pretoria, he decided to leave his home and immigrate to the United States without the support of his parents. He did not, however, enter the United States right away.
Elon Musk, the charismatic co-founder of PayPal (PYPL) and Tesla (TSLA), as well as the founder of SpaceX, Neuralink, and The Boring Company, is a visionary entrepreneur. He is the CEO of Tesla and the CEO/lead designer of SpaceX.
His phenomenal success has prompted comparisons to other visionary businessmen such as Steve Jobs, Howard Hughes, Henry Ford, and Bill Gates. Musk developed a relentless work ethic (he is known to work up to 80 to 120 hours per week) and a tenacious, single-minded vision as a result of an often difficult childhood.
He is estimated to have a total net worth of $151 billion as of 2021. As the world’s richest person, he is only surpassed by Jeff Bezos. 2 Let’s take a quick look at the man behind a slew of companies that have disrupted multiple industries.
Elon Musk: Early Childhood and Education
Elon Reeve Musk was born in Pretoria, South Africa‘s third capital city, in 1971. His father worked as an engineer, and his mother worked as a model and nutritionist. He is the oldest of three children, all of whom are accomplished: Kimbal Musk, his brother, is a venture capitalist and environmentalist. Tosca Musk, his sister, is an award-winning producer and director.
Musk moved in with his father after his parents divorced in 1980. He would later call the man “a terrible human being… he has done almost every evil thing you could possibly think of.” I had a bad upbringing. Growing up, I faced a lot of adversity. “One thing I’m concerned about with my children is that they don’t face enough adversity,” Musk would later say.
Elon Musk: Bullied as a Child
Musk, according to his own account, was a self-described bookworm and a bit of a jerk—he devoured everything from encyclopedias to comic books. Musk’s intellectual prowess, however, did him a few favors as a child. In the tough-minded Afrikaner culture he encountered at school, he made few friends.
Musk attended the private, English-speaking Waterkloof House Preparatory School for a year before graduating from Pretoria Boys High School. According to his descriptions, the years were lonely and brutal.
“They enlisted the help of my best friend to lure me out of hiding so they could beat me up.” “And it hurt,” Musk admitted. “For whatever reason, they decided I was it, and they were going to go after me nonstop.” Growing up was difficult because of this. There was no reprieve for many years. You get chased around by gangs at school who try to beat the (expletive) out of me, and then I come home and it’s just as bad.”
Elon Musk: Early Achievements
If there was a bright spot in Musk’s life, it was Technology. He learned to program when he was 10 years old, using the Commodore VIC-20, a low-cost home computer. He quickly mastered the skills required to create Blastar, a video game in the style of Space Invaders. For $500, he sold the game’s BASIC code to PC and Office Technology magazine.
Musk and his brother planned to open a video game arcade near their school at the time, which was a telling incident. The plan was eventually scrapped by their parents. However, it appears that the only thing standing in their way was the requirement for a city permit, which required an adult to apply for.
Musk’s College Years
Musk moved to Canada at the age of 17 to avoid serving in the South African military, which was primarily responsible for enforcing apartheid in the late 1980s. Through his mother, he would later obtain Canadian citizenship.
Musk attended Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, after moving to Canada. He met Justine Wilson, an aspiring writer, there. They married and had five sons, twins and triplets, before divorcing in 2008.
Getting into the U.S.
Musk transferred to the University of Pennsylvania after two years at Queen’s University. He took on two majors, but it wasn’t all work and no play for him. He and a fellow student purchased a 10-bedroom fraternity house, which they used as an impromptu nightclub.
Musk graduated from the Wharton School with a Bachelor of Science in Physics and a Bachelor of Arts in Economics.15 The two majors foreshadow the path Musk’s career would take later on, but it was physics that left the most of an impression.
Later, he would say, “(Physics is) a good framework for thinking.” “Bring things down to their basic truths and reason from there.”
Elon Musk: Notable Achievements
Musk moved to California when he was 24 years old to pursue a Ph.D. in applied physics at Stanford University. But, with the Internet exploding and Silicon Valley booming, Musk’s entrepreneurial dreams were dancing in his head. He dropped out of the Ph.D. program after only two days.
With $28,000 and his younger brother Kimbal by his side, Musk founded Zip2, a web software company that would assist newspapers in developing online city guides, in 1995.
18 Zip2 was purchased for $340 million by Compaq’s AltaVista web search engine in 1999. Musk used his Zip2 buyout money to launch X.com, which he hoped would shape the future of banking.
X.com merged with Confinity, a money transfer company, and the resulting company became known as PayPal.
20 Musk was then fired from the company before it was purchased by eBay for $1.5 billion, though he walked away with $180 million in stock.
First, he provided funding—approximately $70 million. Musk then joined engineers Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning to help run Tesla Motors in 2004, where he was instrumental in designing the Tesla Roadster, an Electric car. Although Musk seized management control as CEO and product architect after Eberhard was fired from the company in 2007 due to a series of disagreements. Tesla has become one of the world’s most popular and coveted car brands under his leadership.
Musk used a large portion of the proceeds from his PayPal sale to establish Space Exploration Technologies Corporation, or SpaceX, an interstellar travel company. Musk claims that he spent $100 million to establish SpaceX in 2002.
Musk’s SpaceX company won several high-profile contracts from NASA and the US Air Force to design rockets and carry out military missions. Musk has been vocal about his plans to send an astronaut to Mars in collaboration with NASA by 2025.
Musk appeared to be smoking marijuana while being interviewed for a podcast on September 7, 2018. When combined with the departure of two Tesla executives—its head of human resources and its chief accounting officer—the stock fell in trading. This was just the latest in a string of bad news for the company that year, which had already included a shareholder lawsuit against Musk and Tesla for his infamous tweet on Aug. 7, 2018. Musk had previously stated on Twitter that he was considering taking Tesla private. Later, the company decided against the move.
What Is Elon Musk’s Current Wife’s Name?
Elon Musk has two wives but is currently single. He has been in a relationship with Canadian singer/songwriter Claire Elise Boucher, professionally known as Grimes, since 2018, and they have a son.
Elon Musk’s children
- Nevada Alexander Musk, Elon’s first son, was born in 2002. Nevada died tragically at the age of ten weeks.
- Elon and his wife Justine then had twin sons Griffin and Xavier Musk via IVF in 2004.
- Kai Musk, Saxon Musk, and Damian Musk, their triplet sons, were born in 2006 via IVF as well.
- Elon then announced the birth of his son, whom he welcomed with his girlfriend, singer Grimes, on Twitter in May 2020. Their son’s name is X A-Xii, also known as ‘X.’
- In March 2022, it was revealed in a Vanity Fair feature that Elon and Grimes had welcomed a daughter via surrogate in December 2021, whom they’ve named Exa Dark Siderael Musk, abbreviated to ‘Y.’
How wealthy is Elon Musk?
As of 2021, Elon Musk’s net worth is estimated to be around $151 billion. According to Forbes’ World Billionaires List, he is the world’s second-richest person.
What Is Elon Musk’s Role at Tesla?
On Tesla’s website, Elon Musk is listed as the company’s co-founder and CEO. The company disclosed in a March 15, 2021 filing with the SEC that Musk is also adopting the title “Technoking of Tesla.”
Musk shifted his focus after PayPal’s demise to Tesla Motors, an electric-car startup.
5 Interesting Facts about Elon Musk
1. He created a game.
When Elon Musk was 12 years old, he created and sold a video game to a magazine. ‘Blastar,’ a space fighting game, was sold to PC and Office Technology magazine for $500. Musk also worked for a gaming start-up called ‘Rocket Science.’
2. Musk was on the verge of selling Tesla to Google.
Elon Musk almost sold Tesla to Google for $11 billion in 2013, according to Ashlee Vance, author of Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future. Tesla’s future appeared bleak at the time, so Musk approached Larry Page, co-founder, and CEO of Google, about a takeover. Musk proposed that Google buy Tesla for $6 billion, with Musk promising an additional $5 billion in factory expansion. Musk also demanded that Page relinquish control of Tesla for the next eight years. The deal came to an end at the eleventh hour when Tesla, Inc’s Model S, an all-electric five-door liftback, began to sell well. Tesla is expected to be worth billions of dollars.
3. Zip2 was his first venture.
Musk’s first business venture was the creation of Zip2, a company that provided maps and business directories to newspapers and was later sold to Compaq for $307 million.
4. Musk left Stanford after only two days.
When Elon Musk was 17, he moved to Canada with his mother, sister, and brother from South Africa. He attended Kingston University in Kingston, Ontario, for two years. He received two bachelor’s degrees from the University of Pennsylvania, one in physics and the other in economics. Later, he moved to California to pursue a Ph.D. in applied physics at Stanford University. He dropped out after two days to co-found Zip2 Corporation, a company that provides licensed online city guides for newspaper publishers, with his brother Kimbal. He sold the company to Compaq for $300 million in 1999.
5. Musk appeared in episodes of ‘The Simpsons’ and ‘The Big Bang Theory.’
Musk appeared as a guest on the popular television show The Simpsons in 2015. In “The Musk Who Fell to Earth,” the charismatic CEO (Elon Musk) arrives in Springfield in a spacecraft and finds inspiration from Homer Simpson. In the same year, Musk appeared in an episode of the popular sitcom The Big Bang Theory. He played himself in the episode.