Elon Reeve Musk born (June 28, 1971) is an entrepreneur and business Magnate. He is the founder, CEO, and Chief Engineer at SpaceX; early-stage investor, CEO, and Product Architect of Tesla Inc; founder of The Boring Company and co-founder of Neuralink and OpenAI.
Musk was born to a Canadian mother and South African father and raised in Pretoria, South Africa. He briefly attended the University of Pretoria before moving to Canada at age 17 to attend Queen’s University. He transferred to the University of Pennsylvania two years later, where he received bachelor’s degrees in economics and physics. He moved to California in 1995 to attend Stanford University but decided instead to pursue a business career, co-founding the web software company Zip2 with brother Kimbal. The startup was acquired by Compaq for US$307 million in 1999. The same year, Musk co-founded online bank X.com, which merged with Confinity in 2000 to form PayPal. The company was bought by eBay in 2002 for $1.5 billion.
Musk was long convinced that for life to survive, humanity has to become a multiplanet species. However, he was dissatisfied with the great expense of Rocket Launchers. In 2002 he founded Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) to make more affordable rockets. Its first two rockets were the Falcon 1 (first launched in 2006) and the larger Falcon 9 (first launched in 2010), which were designed to cost much less than competing rockets. A third rocket, the Falcon Heavy (first launched in 2018), was designed to carry 117,000 pounds (53,000 kg) to orbit, nearly twice as much as its largest competitor, the Boeing Company’s Delta IV Heavy, for one-third the cost. SpaceX has announced the successor to the Falcon 9 and the Falcon Heavy: the Super Heavy–Starship system. The Super Heavy first stage would be capable of lifting 100,000 kg (220,000 pounds) to low Earth orbit. The payload would be the Starship, a spacecraft designed for providing fast transportation between cities on Earth and building bases on the Moon and Mars.
In 2004, he joined electric vehicle manufacturer Tesla Motors, Inc. (now Tesla, Inc.) as chairman and product architect, becoming its CEO in 2008. In 2006, he helped create Solar City, a solar energy services company that was later acquired by Tesla and became Tesla Energy. In 2015, he co-founded OpenAI, a nonprofit research company that promotes Friendly Artificial Intelligence. In 2016, he co-founded Neuralink, a Neuro Technology Company focused on developing Brain-Computer Interfaces and founded The Boring Company, a tunnel Construction company. Musk has proposed the Hyperloop, a high-speed vactrain transportation system.
Musk met his first wife, Canadian author Justine Wilson, while attending Queen’s University, and they married in 2000. Musk contracted Malaria in 2000 while on vacation in South Africa, and almost died. In 2002, their first child, son Nevada Alexander Musk, died of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) at the age of 10 weeks. After his death, the couple decided to use In vitro fertilisation (IVF) to continue their family. Twins Xavier and Griffin were born in April 2004, followed by triplets Kai, Saxon, and Damian in 2006. The couple divorced in 2008 and Share Custody of their five sons.
In 2008, Musk began dating English actress Talulah Riley, and in 2010, the couple married. In 2012, Musk announced a divorce from Riley. In 2013, Musk and Riley remarried. In December 2014, Musk filed for a second divorce from Riley; however, the action was withdrawn. A second divorce was finalized in 2016. Musk then dated Amber Heard for several months in 2017; he had reportedly been pursuing her since 2012. Musk was later accused by Johnny Depp of having an affair with Heard while she was still married to Depp. Musk and Heard both denied the affair.
In May 2018, Musk and Canadian musician Grimes revealed that they were dating. Grimes gave birth to their son in May 2020. According to Musk and Grimes, his name was “X Æ A-12”; however, the name would have violated California regulations as it contained characters that are not in the modern English alphabet, and was then changed to “X Æ A-Xii”. This drew more confusion, Æ as is not a letter in the modern English alphabet. The child was eventually named “X AE A-XII” Musk, with “X” as a first name, “AE A-XII” as a middle name, and “Musk” as surname. Musk confirmed reports that the couple are “semi-separated” in September 2021.
Musk made $165 million when PayPal was sold to eBay in 2002. He was first listed on the Forbes Billionaires List in 2012, with a net worth of $2 billion.
At the start of 2020, Musk had a net worth of $27 billion. Throughout that year, his net worth increased by $150 billion, largely driven by his ownership of around 20% of Tesla stock. During this, Musk’s net worth was often volatile. For example, it dropped $16.3 billion in September, the largest single-day plunge in the history of the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. In November of that year, Musk passed Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg to become the third-richest person in the world; a week later he passed Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates to become the second-richest. In January 2021, Musk, with a net worth of $185 billion, surpassed Amazon founder Jeff Bezos to become the richest person in the world. Bezos reclaimed the top spot the following month. On September 27, 2021, Forbes announced that Musk had a net worth of over $200 billion, and was the richest person in the world, after Tesla stock surged. In November 2021, Musk became the first person with a net worth over $300 billion.
Around three-quarters of Musk’s wealth derives from Tesla. Musk does not receive a salary from Tesla; he agreed in 2018 to a compensation plan with the board that ties his personal earnings to Tesla’s valuation and revenue. The deal stipulated that Musk only receives the compensation if Tesla reaches certain market values. It was the largest such deal ever done between a CEO and board. In the first award, given in May 2020, he was eligible to purchase 1.69 million TSLA shares (about 1% of the company) at below-market prices, which was worth about $800 million.
Musk has repeatedly described himself as “cash poor”,and has “professed to have little interest in the material trappings of wealth”. In 2012, Musk signed The Giving Pledge and, in May 2020, Musk pledged to “sell almost all physical possessions”. In 2021, Musk defended his wealth by saying he is “accumulating resources to help make life multiplanetary [and] extend the light of consciousness to the stars”. In the early 2000s, Musk was a private pilot, his favorite aircraft then being the L-39 Albatross, though decided to stop piloting by 2008. He uses a private jet owned by SpaceX and acquired a second jet in August 2020. The jet’s heavy use of fossil fuel – it flew over 150,000 miles in 2018—has received criticism.According to ProPublica, Musk paid no federal income taxes in 2018.
A Centibillionaire with a net worth of over US$271 Billion as of November 2021, Musk is the Richest Person in the World.