Who is Elon Musk?
Elon Musk, a renowned entrepreneur has gained global recognition as the chief executive (CEO), of Tesla Inc.’s electric automobile maker (TSLA), as well as CEO and co-founder of SpaceX. Musk co-founded PayPal. He was also an early investor at several tech companies. In April 2022, Musk began negotiations to take Twitter Inc.
His success has led to comparisons to Howard Hughes, Henry Ford, and Steve Jobs. Musk was named the richest man in the world. His estimated net wealth is $220 million as of June 2022.
Let’s take the time to look at the life of the man that has reached the pinnacle business world.
- Elon Musk, the charismatic chief executive of Tesla’s electric vehicle maker and SpaceX’s rocket manufacturer SpaceX and has agreed to buy Twitter.
- Musk was born and raised in South Africa. Before moving to the U.S., Musk spent time living in Canada.
- Musk graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a degree in Physics. He began his journey as a serial entrepreneur of tech, having early successes with Zip2 and X.com. Eventually, he merged with a company to become PayPal.
- Musk can sometimes be eccentric. Musk claimed that he has Asperger’s syndrome.
Education Early Life and Education
Elon R. Musk was born in Pretoria South Africa on 28 June 1971. He is the oldest of three kids. His father was a South African engineer while his mother is a Canadian model. Musk was raised by his father after divorced his parents in 1980. Musk would later refer to his father as “a terrible human being… almost every evil thing you could think of, he has done.”
“I had a terrible upbringing. I had a lot of adversity growing up. One thing I worry about with my kids is they don’t face enough adversity,” Musk would later say.
Bullied in Childhood
Elon Musk was educated at the English-speaking Waterkloof House Preparatory School. Musk graduated from Pretoria Boys High School a year ahead of schedule. Musk is a self-described “bookworm” and had few friends at these schools.
“They got my best (expletive) friend to lure me out of hiding so they could beat me up. And that (expletive) hurt,” Musk said. “For some reason, they decided that I was it, and they would go after me nonstop. That’s what made growing up difficult. For several years, there was no respite. You get chased around by gangs at school who tried to beat the (expletive) out of me, and then I’d come home, and it would just be awful there as well.”
The First Accomplishments
Elon Musk used technology as an escape. Musk began programming at age 10 with a Commodore VIC-20 (a small, inexpensive home computer). Musk was soon proficient enough to create Blastar, which is a videogame in the style of Space Invaders. He sold the BASIC code of the game for $500 to a PC magazine.
Musk and his younger brother wanted to open an arcade for video games near their school. This was a telling story that Musk relates from his childhood. His parents rejected his idea.
Musk College Years
Musk immigrated to Canada aged 17. Through his mother, Musk would be granted Canadian citizenship.
Musk enrolled at Queen’s University Kingston, Ontario after he emigrated to Canada. Justine Wilson (a talented writer) met him there. He and Justine would later marry and have five children together, twins as well as triplets.
Entering the U.S.
Musk transferred to the University of Pennsylvania after two years at Queen’s University. Although he was busy with two majors, his time wasn’t just spent working. He and a classmate bought a 10-bedroom fraternity property, which they used to host an ad hoc party.
Musk graduated with a bachelor’s degree in physics and economics from Wharton School. Both majors foreshadowed Musk’s career, but it was the physics degree that made the most profound impression.
“(Physics is) a good framework for thinking,” he would say later. “Boil things down to their fundamental truths and reason up from there.”
Musk was 24 when he moved to California in pursuit of a PhD degree in applied physical science at Stanford University. Musk had his entrepreneurial visions, even though the Internet was expanding and Silicon Valley was booming. After two days, he left the PhD Program.
zip2 and X.com
Musk launched Zip2 in 1995. He had $15,000 to his name and Kimbal his younger brother.
Compaq Computer corp. bought Zip2 for $341million in 1999. Musk used Zip2 money to create X.com. A fintech venture before that term was widely in circulation.
X.com merged with Confinity, a money transfer business, to create PayPal. PayPal bought Confinity for $1.5 billion. But Musk still got 11.7% of PayPal. Musk stated in 2018 that the proceeds of PayPal were $180million, after taxes. “$100million of that went into SpaceX. Tesla received $70 million and SolarCity received $ 10 million. For rent, I needed to borrow money.”
Musk purchased X.com’s domain name back in 2017 from PayPal, citing the sentimental value.
Musk, who was an early investor in electric cars, joined the team to help manage Tesla Motors, which was then known as Martin Eberhard. Eberhard was removed in 2007 after a number of disputes. In the interim, Musk was hired as the CEO and product architect. Tesla became the world’s largest automaker and was one of Musk’s most respected brands.
Tesla has an impressive presence in the space of solar energy, having acquired SolarCity. The company currently produces two solar batteries that can be recharged. The Powerwall is smaller and was created for home backup power or off-the-grid usage. The Powerpack is for commercial use or the electric utility grid.
Musk used most of the PayPal profits to fund Space Exploration Technologies Corporation. SpaceX’s rocket developer is Space Exploration Technologies Corporation. Musk, through his personal account, spent $100 million to launch SpaceX in 2002.
SpaceX under Musk’s leadership landed several high-profile contracts with NASA to design space launch vehicles. Musk announced plans to send an explorer to Mars in collaboration with NASA.
SolarCity, Tesla Energy
Musk created the initial concept and provided financial capital for SolarCity. This was founded in 2006 by his cousins Lyndon & Peter Rive. SolarCity had become the second-largest US provider of solar power systems. SolarCity was America’s second-largest provider of solar power systems by 2013, according to the company’s website. It was a joint venture with Panasonic from 2014 to early 2020.
In 2016, Tesla purchased SolarCity and merged the battery unit with it to create Tesla Energy. The stock price of Tesla fell more than 10% after the announcement. SolarCity was having liquidity issues at the time. Multiple shareholder groups brought a lawsuit against Musk, Tesla’s directors. They claimed the purchase of SolarCity was made solely to benefit Musk at the expense of Tesla and its shareholders. Musk was the last defendant after the Tesla directors settled the case in January 2020. Musk won the case two years later.
Musk talks about a Neuralink device during a live demonstration in 2020. Musk co-founded Neuralink in 2016 as a start-up company for neurotechnology. Neuralink aims to integrate the human mind with artificial intellect (AI).
This is done by embedding devices into the brain that allows it to be merged with machines. They will also integrate with the latest AI advancements to keep them updated. These improvements could improve memory and allow the devices to communicate with software better.
Musk spoke at a 2020 live demonstration and described their first device as “a Fitbit in the skull” that could cure paralysis. Many publications and neuroscientists have criticized these claims. MIT Technology Review described them as “highly speculative”, and “neuroscience stage”.
The Boring Company
Musk at the 2018 inauguration Boring Test Tunnel In Hawthorne. California. Musk founded The Boring Company in 2017. The company was able to construct a tunnel under the Las Vegas Convention Center.
The tunnel that runs beneath the Las Vegas Convention Center was finished in early 2021. Additional extensions of the tunnel system were approved by local officials.
Musk, who is a frequent poster to the messaging network, revealed a 9.2% stake in Twitter in April 2022. Twitter offered Musk a seat on their board and he accepted. Musk then decided to decline days later. Musk then sent a “bear hug” letter to Twitter’s boards proposing to buy it at $54.20 a share.
Twitter’s board adopted the poison pill provision to stop Musk from acquiring more shares. However, Musk eventually accepted their offer after he disclosed $46.5billion of committed financing for the deal through a securities filing.
Musk smoked cannabis on Sept. 7, 2018, during a recorded interview for a podcast.
Elon Musk filed a motion in court to reverse the consent order stemming from that case, which was filed in March 2022. Musk called SEC regulators about the case “bastards”, in April 2022 during a live TED Talk.
Elon Musk revealed Asperger’s Syndrome, an autistic spectrum disorder, during his Saturday Night Live appearance, on May 8, 2021. “I’m making history tonight as the first person with Asperger’s to host SNL. Or at least the first person to admit it,” he said. How does neurodevelopment condition manifest itself? “I don’t always have a lot of intonation or variation in how I speak, which I’m told makes for great comedy,” Musk explained.
Is Elon Musk Divorced?
Justine Musk, nee Justine Wilson was Musk’s first spouse. She married the tech genius in 2000. Their first child, Nevada, was born in 2002. However, he died at the age of 10 from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). In 2004, they had twins Griffin and Vivian, and in 2006, they had a set, Kai, Saxon, and Damian, giving birth to five children in total. Justine and Elon split in 2008.
Talulah Riley became engaged to Musk six weeks after Justine filed for divorce. She later married the mogul in 2010. They went through a difficult time in 2014. Elon requested for divorce. After reconciliation, the couple was remarried 18 more months later. Riley filed for divorce in 2016.
How Rich is Elon Musk?
Musk, the wealthiest man on the planet, was valued at $221.4 million as of July 2022.
Elon Musk was born rich?
Musk wasn’t born into a middle-class family. When he set up X.com in 1995 he was reportedly saddled with over $100,000 of student debt and struggling to rent.
Elon Musk Does at Tesla?
Elon Musk, the co-founder and CEO at Tesla, is now officially listed on their website. In a 2021 Securities filing, Musk’s additional title was listed as “Technoking Of Tesla”.
Which companies does Elon Musk have?
Elon Musk has a significant stake in several companies, including SpaceX, Tesla, The Boring Company, Neuralink, and Twitter.
The Bottom Line
Musk’s early interests and passions for philosophy, science fiction, and fantasy novels reflect his vision and concern about human progress. He works in fields that he sees as vital to humanity’s future, including space exploration, renewable energy, and the Internet. Musk has defied critics, disrupted industries, and made the most money anyone ever has from PayPal, Tesla Motors, SolarCity, and SpaceX–game-changers all, despite the inevitable missteps.