Elon Musk – Biography, Early Life, Education, and Successful Work
Table of Contents
About Elon Musk
Elon Musk (born June 28, 1971, in Pretoria, South Africa) is a South African-born American businessman, co-founder of electronic payments company PayPal and co-founder of SpaceX, a launch vehicle and spacecraft manufacturer. He was also an early major investor and CEO of electric car maker Tesla. Musk also acquired Twitter in 2022.
His success and personal style have drawn comparisons to other colorful tycoons in United States history, with Steve Jobs, Howard Hughes, and Henry Ford. He became the world’s richest person in October 2022, with an estimated net worth of $212 billion.
Musk first received the award in 2021, surpassing Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN) founder Jeff Bezos.
Important Key Points
- Elon Musk is the charismatic president of electric car creator Tesla and rocket maker SpaceX.
- After a contentious process, Musk agreed to buy Twitter in October 2022 and became the holder of the social media company.
- Born and raised in South Africa, Musk expended some time in Canada before moving to the United States.
- A physics graduate from the University of Pennsylvania, Musk started as a serial tech entrepreneur with early hits like Zip2 and X.com, merging with a company that became PayPal.
- Musk has acted eccentrically from time to time. He said he had Asperger’s Syndrome.
Elon Musk Early Life and Education
Elon Reeve Musk was born in Pretoria, South Africa, in 1971, the eldest of three children. Her father was a South African engineer, and her mother was a Canadian model and nutritionist.
After his parents separated in 1980, Musk lived generally with his father. He later called his father “a terrible man almost every bad thing you can imagine he did.”
“I had a terrible upbringing. I faced a lot of adversity growing up. One thing that worries me about my kids is that they don’t face enough adversity,” he later said.
Bullied as a Kid
Musk attended the English-language private preparatory school Waterkloof House – he started a year earlier – and later graduated from Pretoria Boys High School. A self-proclaimed bookworm, he found few friends in these places.
“They had my (expletive) best friend lure me out of hiding so they could hit me. And that (expletive) hurt me,” Musk said. “For some reason, they decided it was me and would stalk me non-stop. That made growing difficult. For several years there was no break. They’re being chased by gangs at school who’d try to beat me up (phrase), then I’d go home, and it would be awful there too.”
Technology has become an escape route for Musk. At 10, he learned to program on a Commodore VIC-20, an early and reasonably inexpensive home computer. Before long, Musk was skilled enough to create Blastar, a Space Invaders-style video game. He sold the game’s BASIC code to a PC magazine for $500.
In a telling incident from his childhood, Musk and his brother plan to open a video arcade near their school. Unfortunately, her parents rejected the plan.
Musk’s College Years
Musk moved to Canada when he was 17. He later obtained Canadian citizenship through his mother.
After immigrating to Canada, Musk enrolled at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. There he met Justine Wilson, a budding writer. They would wed and have 5 sons together, twins and triplets, before breaking up in 2008.
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Entry into the United States
After two years at Queen’s University, Musk moved to the University of Pennsylvania. He majored twice, but his time there was not all work and play. He and a classmate bought a 10-bedroom fraternity house that they used ad hoc as a nightclub.
Musk earned a degree in Arts in Economics and a degree of Science in Physics from the Wharton School.
Both majors hinted at Musk’s career, but physicality made the most profound impression.
“(Physics is) a decent framework for thinking,” he later said. “Break things down from there to their basic truths and reasons.”
The Success Story of Elon Musk
Musk combined engineers Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning in 2004 to help operate Tesla Motors, where he played a crucial role in developing the world’s first electric vehicle, the Tesla Roadster. Musk assumed the position of CEO and product architect after Eberhard was fired from the business in 2007 over a series of disputes. Under his leadership, Tesla became one of the world’s most popular and sought-after vehicle brands.
Elon Musk’s SpaceX has signed many high-profile agreements with NASA and US Air to make armaments and conducts military missions. Musk has expressed his desire to work with NASA on a joint mission to send an astronaut to Mars by 2025.
Elon Musk has always been a supporter of various space-age technologies. Still, it hasn’t always been a smooth journey for him. . After being bullied at school, he became a small business owner and eventually CEO of two creative companies. But he decided to rise from there and never settle for less.
Tesla has not only developed electric cars but also has a strong presence in the solar energy sector thanks to the acquisition of SolarCity. Founded in 2006, this clean energy service company is now developing two rechargeable solar batteries primarily used for stationary energy storage. The Powerwall is designed for private emergency power supply and off-grid use, while the Powerpack is intended for business or grid-connected use.
Musk was 24 when he moved to California to do his PhD. in Applied Physics at Stanford University. But with the explosion of the internet and the rise of Silicon Valley, Musk had entrepreneurial visions in mind. So he left the doctorate—program after only two days.
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- In 1995, using $15,000 and his younger brother Kimbal, Musk co-founded Zip2, a web-based software company designed to help newspapers develop online city guides.
- In 1999, Compaq Computer Corp. acquired Zip2. Accepted. For $341 million.
- Musk used his Zip2 buyout money to found X.com, a fintech company, before the term was widely promoted.
- com merged with a money transfer company, Confinity, and the company became PayPal.
- Peter Thiel ousted Musk as CEO of PayPal before eBay (EBAY) accepted the payments company for $1.5 billion, but Elon Musk still benefited from the acquisition through his 11.7% stake in PayPal.
- “My after-tax income from PayPal was about $180 million,” Musk said in a 2018 interview. “Of that, $100 million went to SpaceX, $70 million to Tesla, and $10 million to SolarCity. And I had to borrow money for the rent.”
- Musk entered the electric car business as an early investor in 2004, eventually contributing around $6.3 million to get started and joining the team, including engineer Martin Eberhard to aid run a company known at the time as Tesla Motors. However, after a chain of deviations, Eberhard was ousted in 2007, and a temporary CEO was appointed until Musk took over as CEO and product architect. Under his leadership, Tesla became the most valuable automaker in the world.
- In addition to producing electric vehicles, Tesla also has a strong presence in solar energy thanks to the acquisition of SolarCity.
- The company now produces two rechargeable solar batteries. The smaller Powerwall is designed for home backup and off-grid use, while the more prominent power pack is intended for commercial or utility grid use.
- Musk used most of the profits from his PayPal stake to establish Space Exploration Technologies Corporation, the rocket developer commonly known as SpaceX. Musk alone spent $100 million to found SpaceX in 2002.
- Under Musk’s leadership, SpaceX was awarded several high-profile contracts with the US National Aeronautics & Space Administration (NASA) and the US Air Force to develop space rockets.
- Musk has announced ideas to lead an astronaut to Mars by 2025 in collaboration with NASA.
- Musk announced a 9.2% stake in Twitter as a frequent viewer on the messaging network in April 2022.
- Twitter offered Musk a chair on the board, which he accepted only to turn down days late.
- Musk then directed a “Bear Hug” letter to Twitter’s board of directors, offering to buy the company for $54.20 per share.
- Twitter’s board of directors passed a poison pill regulation to prevent Musk from acquiring an even more significant stake. Still, they eventually accepted Musk’s offer after disclosing $46.5 billion in committed funds for the arrangement in a securities account.
- In July 2022, Musk attempted to reverse the deal, arguing that Twitter failed to provide certain information about the fake accounts. The company sued Musk to force him into the agreement.
- After months of litigation, the billionaire’s idea to buy the social media stage materialized, and Musk took control of Twitter on October 28, 2022.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) About Elon Musk
Is Elon Musk Married?
Elon Musk has been divorced three times, including twice from his second wife, Talulah Riley.
From 2018 to 2022, he was in a relationship with Canadian singer-songwriter Claire Elise Boucher, known professionally as Grimes, by whom he has a son in 2020 & a daughter in 2022. They continue to be best friends.
Net Worth of Elon Musk?
Elon’s net worth was value at $212 billion as of October 2022, creating him the wealthiest man in the world.
Was Elon Musk Born Rich?
No, Musk was born into a middle-class family. When he founded X.com in 1995, he apparently had over $100,000 in student debt and struggled to pay his rent.
What is Elon Musk Doing at Tesla?
Elon Musk is officially list on the company’s website as co-founder and CEO of Tesla.
In a title filing in 2021, the company released an additional Musk title, “Technoking of Tesla.”
What Companies Does Elon Musk Own?
Elon Musk is a significant shareholder in several companies, containing Tesla, SpaceX, The Boring Company, Neuralink, and Twitter.
Elon Musk has shown entrepreneurial inclinations since childhood. His engineer father and dietician mother, who recognized and encouraged his son’s passion for technology, warmly accepted him. He got his first computer at ten and taught himself to program. At 12, the young boy created a fully playable video game called “Blastar,” which he reportedly sold for 500＄. Elon Musk joined Pretoria Boys High School and graduated in 1988.
To avoid South African conscription, he left to Canada in 1989 and joined at Queen’s University in Ontario. However, he only waited at the College of Pretoria for five months. Later that, Musk went to the College of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business to pursue a bachelor’s degree in economics. He too left after two days to follow his entrepreneurial ambitions after being accept into Stanford University’s graduate program in physics.
By discovering the biography of Elon Musk, we understand that he pursued goals that motivated not only him but also the team of people he hired to work with him. From interplanetary spaceflight to electric vehicles, all of these goals are forward-thinking and significantly improve existing conditions.