Elon Musk rose to international fame as chairman and chief executive officer (CEO) of electric vehicle maker Tesla Inc. (TSLA) and CEO of private space company SpaceX. Musk co-founded PayPal (PYPL), was an early investor in several tech startups, and entered negotiations in April 2022 to take Twitter Inc. (TWTR) private.
His accomplishments and personality have earned him comparisons to Steve Jobs, Howard Hughes, and Henry Ford, among other tycoons in United States history. With an estimated net worth of $220 billion as of June 2022, he has been crowned the richest individual in the world.
Musk first achieved that status in 2021, overtaking Amazon.com Inc.
Let’s take a quick look at the life of the man who reached the pinnacle of business.
- Elon Musk is the charismatic chief executive of electric car maker Tesla and rocket maker SpaceX, and he’s struck a deal to buy Twitter.
- Born and raised in South Africa, Musk spent time in Canada before moving to the United States.
- After studying physics at the University of Pennsylvania, Musk started getting wet as a serial tech entrepreneur with early hits like Zip2 and X.com, which merged with a company that became PayPal.
- Musk has been eccentric from time to time. He said he has Asperger’s Syndrome.
Childhood and education
Elon Reeve Musk, the eldest of three children, was born in 1971 in Pretoria, South Africa. Her father was a South African engineer, while her mother was a model and dietitian in Canada.
After his parents divorced in 1980, Musk lived largely with his father. Later, he would say of his father that he was “a horrible person…He did just about every heinous thing you can imagine.”
“I had a miserable childhood. Growing up, I had many obstacles. Musk would later comment, “One thing that worries me with my kids is that they don’t face enough challenges. »
Musk attended the elite English-speaking Waterkloof House preparatory school and then Pretoria Boys High School, where he graduated. Describing himself as a bookworm, he did not make many friends in these establishments.
“They convinced my best friend to bring me out of hiding so they could beat me. “And it was painful,” Musk remarked. “For some reason they decided I was the target and would be pursued relentlessly.
That’s what made growing up difficult. For many years there was no respite. At school the gangs tried to beat me up, and when I came home things were just as bad. »
For Musk, technology has become an escape. Using a Commodore VIC-20, an early and reasonably affordable home computer, he learned about programming at the age of 10. Musk was skilled enough to build Blastar, a Space Invaders-style video game, in a short amount of time. He sold the game’s BASIC code to a computer magazine for $500.
Musk and his brother wanted to build a video game arcade near their school, in a landmark incident from Musk’s childhood. Their parents rejected the proposal.
Musk’s College Years
Musk moved to Canada when he was 17. He will eventually obtain Canadian citizenship through his mother.
After immigrating to Canada, Musk attended Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. It was there that he met budding author Justine Wilson. Before divorcing in 2008, they were married and raised five sons together, including twins and triplets.
Entry into the United States
Musk attended Queen’s University for two years before transferring to the University of Pennsylvania. He took two courses, but he didn’t spend all his time at university studying. He and another student bought a 10-bedroom fraternity house, which they turned into a makeshift nightclub.
Musk graduated from the Wharton School with a bachelor’s degree in physics and a bachelor’s degree in economics.
Both majors foreshadowed Musk’s career, but it was physics that had the most profound impact.
Later, he will say: “Physics is a good mental base. “Reduce the questions to their essential facts and argue from there. »
Musk came to California at age 24 to earn a doctorate in applied physics from Stanford University. But with the growth of the internet and the prosperity of Silicon Valley, Musk’s mind was filled with entrepreneurial ideas. Two days into the PhD program, he left.
Musk founded Zip2 in 1995 with $15,000 and his younger brother Kimbal by his side. Zip2 was a web-based software startup that helped newspapers create online city guides.
In 1999, Compaq Computer Corporation bought Zip2 for $341 million.
Musk used the funds from the Zip2 acquisition to launch X.com, a finance company before that name came into widespread use.
PayPal is the result of a merger between X.com and Confinity, a company specializing in money transfers.
Peter Thiel fired Elon Musk as PayPal CEO before eBay (EBAY) bought the payments startup for $1.5 billion, but Musk profited from the acquisition with his 11.7 stake % in PayPal.
“My after-tax PayPal profits were around $180 million,” Musk said in a 2018 interview. million dollars to SolarCity. And I had to borrow money to pay the rent. »
Musk bought the X.com domain from PayPal in 2017, citing its sentimental value.
Musk first became involved in the electric car project as an early investor in 2004, investing a total of $6.3 million and joining the team, which included engineer Martin Eberhard, to help manage Tesla Motors at the time.
After a series of disputes, Eberhard was removed from his role as CEO in 2007, and an interim CEO was hired until Musk resumed his role as CEO and product architect. Under his leadership, Tesla became the world’s most valuable automaker and one of its most recognizable brands.
Thanks to its acquisition of SolarCity, Tesla maintains a strong presence in the solar energy sector in addition to its production of electric automobiles.
Currently, the company manufactures two rechargeable solar batteries. The smaller, Powerwall, has been designed for residential and off-grid backup power applications, while the larger, Powerpack, is intended for professional applications or power distribution networks.
Musk used the majority of his PayPal stock money to create Space Exploration Technologies Corporation, also known as SpaceX. Musk reportedly spent $100 million to create SpaceX in 2002.
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the United States Air Force have awarded SpaceX a number of major contracts to build space-launch rockets.
Musk has gone public with plans to send an astronaut to Mars by 2025 as part of a joint effort with NASA.
In April 2022, Musk, a regular on the messaging network, said he owned 9.2% of Twitter’s capital.
Twitter responded by offering Musk a seat on its board, which he accepted but later declined.
Musk then wrote Twitter’s board of directors a “bear hug” letter asking to acquire the company at $54.20 per share.
Musk reported $46.5 billion in committed funding for the transaction in a securities statement, and Twitter’s board ultimately accepted his offer.
Musk used cannabis during a podcast interview on September 7, 2018.
A month ago, Musk tweeted that he was considering taking Tesla private and had already secured the necessary funds.
Musk later settled a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) complaint alleging he intentionally misled investors with the tweet by paying a $20 million fine and agreed to let attorneys for Tesla reviews tweets containing key company information before posting them.
Musk filed a motion with the court in March 2022 to vacate the consent order in this litigation.
During a TED Live talk in April 2022, Musk called the SEC regulators involved in the case “bastards.”
During his appearance on Saturday Night Live on May 8, 2021, Musk revealed that he has Asperger’s Syndrome, an autism spectrum disorder. “Tonight, I make history as the first person with Asperger’s Syndrome to host SNL. Or at least the first to admit it,” he said. How can neurodevelopmental disorders manifest themselves? Musk explained, “I usually don’t have a lot of intonation or change in the way I speak, which is supposed to make for great comedy. »
Did Elon Musk get married?
Musk has been divorced three times, including twice from his second wife Talulah Riley.
From 2018 to 2022, he was in a relationship with Claire Elise Boucher, known professionally as Grimes, with whom he had a son in 2020 and a daughter in 2022. They remain close companions.
Also, he has five sons with his first wife, Justine Musk.
What is Elon Musk’s financial situation?
As of June 2022, Elon Musk’s projected net worth was $220 billion, making him the richest person on the globe.
Was Elon Musk born rich?
Elon Musk was not born into a wealthy home. When he started X.com in 1995, he apparently had over $100,000 in college debt and was struggling to pay his rent.
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 revealed Musk’s additional title of “Technoking of Tesla” in a 2021 statement.
What businesses does Elon Musk own?
Elon Musk is a major investor in various companies including Tesla, SpaceX, The Boring Company, Neuralink and Twitter.
Musk’s business career reflects his idealism and passion for human progress, as well as his early interests in philosophy, science fiction, and fantasy fiction. He works in areas he believes are vital to the future of humanity, including the shift to renewable energy, space exploration and the internet.
Musk has stood up to his critics, disrupted industries and made the most money ever from PayPal, Tesla Motors, SolarCity and SpaceX, all of which have been game changers despite their inevitable flaws.