Entrepreneur and businessman Elon Reeve Musk was born on June 28, 1971. Musk is the owner, chairman, and CTO of X Corp., the creator of the Boring Company, the co-founder of Neuralink and OpenAI, the chairman, CEO, and chief technology officer of SpaceX. He is also the president of the Musk Foundation and an angel investor, CEO, product architect, and previous chairman of Tesla, Inc. According to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index and Forbes, he is the richest person in the world, with an estimated net worth of $253 billion and US$232 billion, respectively, as of September 2023. This fortune is mostly the result of his ownership shares in Tesla and SpaceX.
Musk was born in Pretoria, South Africa. He briefly attended the University of Pretoria before moving to Canada at the age of 18 and obtaining Canadian citizenship through his mother, who was also born in Canada. He enrolled in Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario, two years later. Musk later changed schools and earned bachelor's degrees in physics and economics at the University of Pennsylvania. To attend Stanford University, he relocated to California in 1995. But after only two days, Musk left and co-founded Zip2 with his brother Kimbal, a firm that makes software for online city guides.
On June 28, 1971, in Pretoria, the administrative centre of South Africa, Elon Reeve Musk was born. He is of Pennsylvania Dutch and British descent. His mother, Maye Musk (née Haldeman), is a model and dietician who was reared in South Africa after being born in Saskatchewan, Canada. His father, Errol Musk, is a South African electromechanical engineer, pilot, sailor, consultant, and real estate developer who also owned a rental resort in the Timbavati Private Nature Reserve and a portion of an emerald mine in Zambia close to Lake Tanganyika. Musk has a younger sister named Tosca and a younger brother named Kimbal.
When Musk was younger, his family was affluent. His father, a member of the anti-apartheid Progressive Party who was elected to the Pretoria City Council, has stated that his children shared their father's opposition to apartheid. Joshua Elon Haldeman, his maternal grandpa and namesake, was a Canadian-born American who led his family on record-breaking flights to Australia and Africa in a single-engine Bellanca aircraft. Haldeman supported the Technocracy movement, belonged to the Social Credit Party of Canada, and held antisemitic views.Musk decided to live largely with his father when his parents' separated in 1980. Later, Musk began to regret his choice and severed ties with his father. He has a half-sister and a half-brother on his paternal side.
According to Maye Musk, her kid "didn't have many friends" and "was shy and awkward at school". He was harassed a lot. In one occasion, Musk was badly assaulted and pushed down a flight of concrete steps after calling a youngster whose father had committed suicide "stupid". He became interested in computers and video games at the age of 10 and began teaching himself how to programme using the VIC-20 user manual. He sold the $500 BASIC game Blastar to PC and Office Technology magazine when he was twelve.
Musk attended the Pretoria Boys High School, Bryanston High School, and Waterkloof House Preparatory School before graduating. Musk scored a 61 in Afrikaans and a B on his senior maths certification, making him a competent but not outstanding student. Musk, who was born in Canada, filed for a Canadian passport via his mother, reasoning that it would be simpler to enter the country through this route. He studied at the University of Pretoria for five months while his application was being processed. Musk entered Canada in June 1989 and spent a year in Saskatchewan living with a second cousin while working various jobs at a farm and a timber mill. He started at Kingston, Ontario's Queen's University in 1990. He transferred to the University of Pennsylvania (UPenn) two years later, where he finished his studies for a Bachelor of Arts degree in physics and a Bachelor of Science degree from the Wharton School in economics. Musk asserts he received the degrees in 1995, while UPenn insists it was 1997. According to reports, he drafted a business plan for an electronic book-scanning service comparable to Google Books and had sizable, ticketed home parties to help pay for school.
Two internships in Silicon Valley were held by Musk in 1994: one at the energy storage firm Pinnacle Research Institute, which looked into electrolytic ultracapacitors for energy storage, and another at the Palo Alto-based startup Rocket Science Games. He was granted admission to Stanford University's PhD programme in materials science in 1995. Musk opted to join the Internet boom instead, leaving two days after getting accepted. He then applied for a position with Netscape, but he apparently never heard back.
X.com and PayPal
Later in 1999, Musk invested $12 million of the proceeds from the Compaq acquisition towards the co-founding of X.com, a provider of online banking services and email payment systems. In its first few months of existence, more than 200,000 clients joined X.com, one of the first federally insured Internet banks. Despite the fact that Musk created the business, investors thought he lacked expertise and before the end of the year, Bill Harris, the CEO of Intuit, had taken over.
Early in 2001, Musk got associated with the organisation Mars Society and spoke about funding strategies for putting a plant growing chamber on Mars. Along with Jim Cantrell and Adeo Ressi, he went to Moscow in October of that year to purchase reconditioned intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) that could launch the greenhouse payloads into orbit. Although he met with NPO Lavochkin and Kosmotras, Musk was viewed as a beginner, and the delegation left for the United States with nothing. The team went back to Russia in February 2002 together with Mike Gryphon, president of In-Q-Tel, to search for three ICBMs.
In a subsequent meeting with Kosmotras, they were presented with a $8 million offer for one rocket, which Musk turned down. Instead, he made the decision to start a business that would produce inexpensive rockets. Musk launched SpaceX in May 2002 with a $100 million personal investment and rose to the positions of CEO and Chief Engineer.
Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning founded Tesla, Inc.—originally Tesla Motors—in July 2003 and funded it up until the Series A round of investment. Prior to Musk's engagement, both men actively participated in the company's early development. Musk oversaw the Series A round of financing in February 2004; he contributed $6.5 million, becoming the company's majority owner, and was elected chairman of the board. Despite not being heavily involved in day-to-day commercial operations, Musk played an active role inside the firm and oversaw the creation of the Roadster product.
Musk, along with Tarpenning and two other people, was named as a co-founder of Tesla in a 2009 litigation settlement with Eberhard. Musk had been the CEO of any car firm worldwide for the greatest amount of time as of 2019. While still serving as CEO, Musk nominally changed his name to "Technoking" in 2021.
A dozen engineers from SpaceX and Tesla were tasked with developing the conceptual underpinnings and early drawings for a version of a vactrain, or a train made of vacuum tubes, when Musk first revealed his ambitions in 2013. Musk introduced the idea later that year under the name "hyperloop." A whitepaper uploaded to the blogs of Tesla and SpaceX revealed the system's alpha architecture. The study described the technology and sketched a hypothetical route for the $6 billion transit system that might connect the San Francisco Bay Area with the Greater Los Angeles Area. If the idea were to be implemented, Hyperloop travel would be more affordable than any other form of transportation over such vast distances.
As early as 2017, Musk indicated interest in acquiring Twitter and questioned the dedication of the platform to free expression. In addition, Talulah Riley, his ex-wife, had advised him to purchase Twitter in order to curb "woke-ism". Musk began buying Twitter shares in January 2022, and by April he had amassed a 9.2% position, making him the company's largest stakeholder.When this was made public, Twitter stock saw its biggest intraday price increase since its IPO in 2013. Musk and Twitter reached an agreement on April 4 that would assign him to the board of directors and forbid him from owning more than 14.9% of the business.Musk, though, launched a takeover attempt to purchase 100% of Twitter's stock for $54.20 per share on April 13 with a $43 billion offer to buy the social media platform. In response, the board of directors of Twitter enacted a "poison pill" shareholder rights plan to increase the cost for any one shareholder to possess more than 15% of the business without board permission. Nevertheless, Musk had successfully closed his offer for almost $44 billion by the end of the month. This includes $21 billion in equity funding and around $12.5 billion in loans secured by his Tesla shares.