Elon Musk: What will you do if you had 19 billion dollars in the bank right now? Leave your job and live off on it? Go on a vacation? Something like that right? But 19 billion dollars! That’s a lot of money and who has that kind of money? The very person who has been sending cars into space, making tunnels underground and making Flamethrowers. Yes, we are talking about Elon Musk. Called the real-life Tony Stark, Elon Musk has made his name in the automobile industry and billionaires club rock solid through his companies Tesla, SpaceX and The Boring Company.
Being ranked 21st on the Forbes list of The World’s Most Powerful People and also ranked as The World’s 40th Most Richest Man with a net worth of 19.4 billion dollars, the Musk name is well known. With the plans of colonizing Mars in the near future and plans to set up a base on the moon, Elon Musk made his intentions public to the world. Considering the race of humans as star explorers instead of stargazers with only the ability to stay in one place, he became an opportunist.
Childhood and Early Beginnings
Elon Reeve Musk was born on June 28, 1971, to Maye Musk and Errol Musk in Pretoria, South Africa. His mother Maye was and still is a model from Regina, Canada while his father was a South African born electro-mechanical engineer, sailor and pilot. Elon’s parents got divorced when he was only 9 years old. Elon being a bright child, excelled quickly in learning and reading, at age 10 he started learning basic computing and at age 12 he developed and sold a game called Blastar for 500 dollars. As a kid, Elon was bullied a lot.
Being the youngest and the smallest kid in class, he was feeble in physical strength compared to his other class fellows. It didn’t take him long to leave his studies for a short time and join different physical practices like Judo, Karate and wrestling to defend himself. After a little time and little fights, the bullies left him alone. It wasn’t long that Elon moved and turned things for the better.
He arrived in Canada in 1989 to study at Queen’s University to avoid mandatory service in the South African Military. After three years, Musk left Canada to study Business and Physics at the University of Pennsylvania in 1992. After graduating with an undergrad degree in Economics and staying for a second bachelor’s degree in Physics he moved on for further education. After this, he enrolled in Stanford University, California to pursue a PhD in energy physics but decided to drop out only after two days due to the internet boom to start his own company called Zip2 Corporation with his brother Kimbal.
Career and Professional Life
In February 1999, Elon sold to Zip2 to Compaq for a whopping 307 million dollars and 34 million also in stocks. Being the holder of 7 per cent of Sale, Elon made 22 million.
Then in March 1999, Musk co-founded X.com which was an online financial service and e-mail payment company. One year later, the company merged with Confinity, to form PayPal. Musk was ousted in October 2000 from his CEO post due to disagreements with other members on his ambition to move PayPal’s Unix based infrastructure to Microsoft Windows. Two years later, PayPal was acquired by eBay for 1.5 billion dollars in stock where Elon received 165 million dollars is the biggest shareholder of 11.7%.
In 2001, before PayPal’s sale, Musk made Mars Oasis which was a project to land a mini experimental greenhouse on Mars to regain the public’s interest in space. Then in that very year, he travelled to Moscow with his buddies to buy refurbished ballistic missiles, so that he could send them into space to deliver payloads in the possible future. But Elon and his buddies had to return empty-handed due to some complications with the Russian sellers. Later that year, Musk again returned to buy those three missiles but again got into a disagreement which later led to a contemplation of finding his own space company which would build its own rockets. With the vision of space travel and making the human race a spacefaring civilization, Musk ended up founding SpaceX. Space Exploration Technologies aka SpaceX was founded with 100 million dollars of Musk’s early fortune in May 2002. Musk is now the CEO and CTO of SpaceX which now develops and manufactures space launch vehicles. The company’s first two launch vehicles are the Falcon 1 and the Falcon 9 rockets and its first spacecraft is the Dragon. In 2008, SpaceX’s Falcon rocket became the first privately funded liquid-fueled vehicle to put a satellite into Earth’s orbit. Being also funded by NASA to launch it’s Falcon 9 rockets and Dragon spacecraft to deliver cargos to the International Space Station. Space X has become the first to land it rockets back on its launch pads in the history of Space and Travel, establishing a vision of cheaper space travel for humans and also the reusability of such rockets which were before obsolete.
But before SpaceX there was another Musk company which played a vital role in his career. It was Tesla. Tesla was founded by Marc Tarpenning and Martin Eberhard, who financed the company before Musk’s involvement. Musk joined the board of directors in 2004 and took an active role in the roadster product design but didn’t pay much heed to day to day business. Following the financial crisis in 2008, Eberhard was out and Musk was in on CEO which he still holds till date. After this, Musk had many new ideas which put through such as Gigafactory, SolarCity, Hyperloop and OpenAI but the one that really stuck on the public’s eyes was The Boring Company. Initially, a tunnelling vision, Musk founded the company to bore tunnels and create a channel of networks underground which would be a better and efficient way of travel and also avoid traffic. Duh. The whole idea of The Boring Company came to Musk when he was stuck in traffic and he got an epiphany to make a better way to deal with the problem. The Boring Company also makes Flamethrowers which is cool as heck.
Elon has been married thrice in his life. He met his first wife, Justine, while both were students at Queen’s University. They had six kids together, one of which died due to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. They later divorced each other in 2008 and share the custody of all their 5 children. Elon later started dating the English actress Talulah Riley and in 2010 they married. But after two years Musk divorced her and then again married her one year later. The on and off couple finally parted ways in late 2016. Musk later dated American actress Amber Heard but split up shortly due to busy schedules. Yikes.
Controversies and Elon have a way to stay connected. Musk once appeared on the famous Joe Rogan Podcast where he shared a joint of smoke with the host. Apparently, the Joint was made of a mix of Tobacco and Mari-juana. This led to a big drop in stocks of Tesla in the market and the board of directors were also aggravated. This led to a suspension for Musk from his CEO position.