Elon Musk Biography, Companies, Net Worth, Age, Wife, Family, Education, Facts

Elon Musk

Country: South Africa, United States
Nationality: Canadian, South African, American
Date of birth: June 28, 1971
Birthplace: Pretoria, Transvaal, South Africa
Net worth: $204.7 billion

Elon Musk Biography (Who is Elon Musk?)

Elon Reeve Musk is a businessman and investor. He is the founder, chairman, CEO, and CTO of SpaceX; angel investor, CEO, product architect, and former chairman of Tesla, Inc.; owner, chairman, and CTO of X Corp.; founder of the Boring Company and xAI; co-founder of Neuralink and OpenAI; and president of the Musk Foundation. He is the wealthiest person in the world, with an estimated net worth of US$232 billion as of December 2023, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, and $254 billion according to Forbes, primarily from his ownership stakes in Tesla and SpaceX.

A member of the wealthy South African Musk family, Elon was born in Pretoria. He briefly attended the University of Pretoria before immigrating to Canada at age 18, acquiring citizenship through his Canadian-born mother. He matriculated two years later at Queen’s University at Kingston in Canada. Musk later transferred to the University of Pennsylvania and received bachelor’s degrees in economics and physics. He moved to California in 1995 to attend Stanford University. However, Musk dropped out after two days and, with his brother Kimbal, co-founded the online city guide software company Zip2. The startup was acquired by Compaq for $307 million in 1999, and, that same year Musk co-founded X.com, a direct bank. X.com merged with Confinity in 2000 to form PayPal.

In October 2002, eBay acquired PayPal for $1.5 billion, and that same year, with $100 million of the money he made, Musk founded SpaceX, a spaceflight services company. In 2004, he became an early investor in electric vehicle manufacturer Tesla Motors, Inc. (now Tesla, Inc.). He became its chairman and product architect, assuming the position of CEO in 2008. In 2006, Musk helped create SolarCity, a solar energy company that was acquired by Tesla in 2016 and became Tesla Energy. In 2013, he proposed a hyperloop high-speed vactrain transportation system. In 2015, he co-founded OpenAI, a nonprofit artificial intelligence research company. The following year, Musk co-founded Neuralink—a neurotechnology company developing brain–computer interfaces—and the Boring Company, a tunnel construction company. In 2022, he acquired Twitter for $44 billion. He subsequently merged the company into the newly created X Corp. and rebranded the service as X the following year. In March 2023, he founded xAI, an artificial intelligence company.

Musk has expressed views that have made him a polarizing figure. He has been criticized for making unscientific and misleading statements, including COVID-19 misinformation, and antisemitic conspiracy theories. His ownership of Twitter has been similarly controversial, being marked by the laying off of a large number of employees, an increase in hate speech and misinformation and disinformation on the website, as well as changes to Twitter Blue verification. In 2018, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) sued him for falsely tweeting that he had secured funding for a private takeover of Tesla. To settle the case, Musk stepped down as the chairman of Tesla and paid a $20 million fine.

Elon Musk Details:

Full Name Elon Reeve Musk
Date of Birth (DOB) June 28, 1971
Birth Place Pretoria, South Africa
Current Residence Austin, Texas, United States
Citizenship South Africa (1971–present), Canada (1971–present), United States (2002–present)
GenderMale
BirthdayJune 28
Age52 Years
Height6′ 1″
Weight78kg (approx)
Education University of Pennsylvania, Stanford University, Queen’s University, Ontario
Zodiac Sign Cancer
ParentsErrol Musk (father)
Maye Musk (mother)
RelativesKimbal Musk (brother)
Tosca Musk (sister)
Lyndon Rive (cousin)
FamilyMusk family
SpousesJustine Wilson (Married in 2000 and separated in 2008)
Talulah Riley (Married in 2010 and separated in 2012)
(Married in 2013 and separated in 2016)
PartnersAmber Heard (2015–2017)
Grimes (2018–2021)
Children 11
TitleFounder, CEO, and chief engineer of SpaceX
CEO and product architect of Tesla, Inc.
Owner and CTO of X, formerly Twitter
President of the Musk Foundation
Founder of The Boring Company, X Corp., and xAI
Co-founder of Neuralink, OpenAI, Zip2, and X.com (part of PayPal)
Net Worth$204.7 billion as of February 2024
Source of Wealth Tesla, SpaceX, Twitter, Self Made

Elon Musk’s Early Life and Education:

Childhood and Family

Elon Musk (Elon Reeve Musk), born on June 28, 1971, in Pretoria, South Africa, to Maye and Errol Musk, grew up in a wealthy environment. His father, an electromechanical engineer, pilot, sailor, consultant, and property developer, and his mother, a model and dietitian, instilled in him a dislike for apartheid. He has a younger brother, Kimbal, and a younger sister, Tosca. Musk’s family background includes British and Pennsylvania Dutch ancestry.

Elon Musk Biography, Companies, Net Worth, Age, Wife, Family, Education, Facts

Despite his affluent upbringing, Musk faced challenges, including estrangement from his father after his parents’ divorce in 1980. He endured hardships, such as a severe beating as a child and subsequent estrangement from his father. However, Musk’s love for reading and technology shaped his future endeavors. At a young age, he demonstrated his entrepreneurial spirit by selling a computer game he developed.

At age ten, he developed an interest in computing and video games, teaching himself how to program from the VIC-20 user manual. At age twelve, Musk sold his BASIC-based game Blastar to PC and Office Technology magazine for approximately $500.

Education

Elon Musk’s educational journey began in South Africa, where he graduated from Pretoria Boys High School. He later pursued higher education in Canada and the United States. Musk applied for Canadian citizenship through his mother to ease his immigration to the US. While awaiting approval, he briefly attended the University of Pretoria.

In 1989, Musk moved to Canada, working various jobs for a year before enrolling at Queen’s University. He eventually transferred to the University of Pennsylvania, earning degrees in physics and economics. Musk’s time at university was marked by entrepreneurial pursuits, including hosting parties to finance his education and developing business plans.

During internships in Silicon Valley, Musk explored opportunities in the tech industry. Despite being accepted to Stanford University’s Ph.D. program, he chose to pursue career opportunities, ultimately venturing into the burgeoning internet sector.

Elon Musk’s Career in Business:

Zip2

In 1995, Musk, his brother Kimbal, and Greg Kouri founded the Global Link Information Network, later renamed Zip2. The company was financed mainly through a financing round of US$200,000, of which 10% was contributed by his father Errol Musk. The company developed an Internet city guide with maps, directions, and yellow pages, and marketed it to newspapers. They worked at a small rented office in Palo Alto, with Musk coding the website every night. Eventually, Zip2 obtained contracts with The New York Times and the Chicago Tribune. The brothers persuaded the board of directors to abandon a merger with CitySearch; however, Musk’s attempts to become CEO were thwarted. Compaq acquired Zip2 for $307 million in cash in February 1999, and Musk received $22 million for his 7-percent share.

X.com and PayPal

In 1999, Elon Musk co-founded X.com, an online financial services company with $12 million from the Compaq acquisition. X.com was one of the first federally insured online banks, and over 200,000 customers joined in its initial months of operation. Despite initial success, Musk was replaced as CEO due to perceived inexperience. X.com merged with Confinity in 2000 to avoid competition, and Musk returned as CEO.

Elon Musk Biography, Companies, Net Worth, Age, Wife, Family, Education, Facts

Internal conflicts arose over software preferences, leading to Musk’s ousting in September 2000. Under Peter Thiel, X.com refocused on money transfers and became PayPal in 2001.

In 2002, eBay acquired PayPal for $1.5 billion in stock, yielding Musk $175.8 million as its largest shareholder. Musk repurchased the X.com domain from PayPal in 2017 for its sentimental value. In 2022, Musk expressed a vision for creating “X, the everything app.”

SpaceX

Elon Musk’s journey into space exploration began in early 2001 when he joined the Mars Society, aiming to fund a growth-chamber for plants on Mars. In October of the same year, he traveled to Moscow in pursuit of refurbished intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) to send greenhouse payloads into space. Despite initial setbacks, Musk returned to Russia in February 2002 with the intention of purchasing three ICBMs. However, he decided to start his own company after rejecting a $8 million offer for one rocket. With $100 million of his own money, Musk founded SpaceX in May 2002.

Elon Musk Biography, Companies, Net Worth, Age, Wife, Family, Education, Facts

SpaceX faced challenges with its early Falcon 1 rocket launches, but eventually succeeded in 2008, marking a significant milestone. Following this success, SpaceX secured contracts with NASA, including a $1.6 billion Commercial Resupply Services contract in 2008 and launching the first crewed flight, Demo-2, in 2020. SpaceX’s achievements include successful landings of Falcon 9 rockets and the development of the Falcon Heavy and Starship, aiming for reusable and efficient space travel.

Starlink

In 2015, SpaceX initiated the Starlink project, aiming to establish a constellation of low-Earth-orbit satellites for satellite Internet access. The project saw its first prototype satellites launched in February 2018, followed by a larger deployment of operational satellites in May 2019. The estimated cost of the project is around $10 billion.

Critics, including the International Astronomical Union, raised concerns about Starlink’s impact on sky visibility and its potential collision threat to spacecraft. Amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Elon Musk sent Starlink terminals to provide Internet access and communication in the affected areas. He donated around 20,000 satellite terminals to Ukraine, along with free data transfer subscriptions worth $80 million. Musk pledged to continue providing Starlink to Ukraine for free, with an estimated annual cost of $400 million to SpaceX. Despite requests, Musk refused to block Russian state media on Starlink, citing his stance as “a free speech absolutist.”

Tesla

Tesla, Inc., formerly known as Tesla Motors, was founded in July 2003 by Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning. Elon Musk joined the company in 2004 after leading a significant investment round, becoming the majority shareholder and chairman of the board. Musk took over as CEO and product architect in 2008 following conflicts within the company and the financial crisis of 2007–2008.

Under Musk’s leadership, Tesla introduced groundbreaking electric vehicles, starting with the Roadster in 2008, followed by the Model S sedan in 2012, the Model X crossover in 2015, and the mass-market Model 3 sedan in 2017. Tesla’s Model 3 became the bestselling electric car globally, reaching 1 million units sold in June 2021. The company also launched the Model Y crossover in 2020 and unveiled the Cybertruck in 2019.

Tesla’s stock has soared since its initial public offering in 2010, making it the most valuable carmaker by market capitalization in 2021. Musk’s proposal to sell 10% of his Tesla stock in 2021 garnered widespread attention and resulted in the sale of billions of dollars worth of shares. In 2022, both Elon and Kimbal Musk came under SEC investigation for possible insider trading related to the stock sale.

In addition to electric vehicles, Tesla has expanded into battery and vehicle manufacturing with the construction of Gigafactories. Musk also unveiled a robot developed by Tesla, Optimus, in 2022. In June 2023, Musk expressed interest in investing in India during a meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New York City.

SolarCity and Tesla Energy

Elon Musk provided initial funding and vision for SolarCity, co-founded by his cousins in 2006, which became the second-largest US solar power provider by 2013. In 2014, he championed SolarCity’s expansion with a Buffalo production facility, completed in 2017. Tesla acquired SolarCity in 2016 for over $2 billion, leading to a stock price drop due to SolarCity’s financial issues. Shareholder lawsuits alleged the acquisition favored Musk, but Tesla directors settled in 2020, leaving Musk as the sole defendant, later ruled in his favor in court.

Neuralink

In 2016, Elon Musk co-founded Neuralink, investing $100 million in the neurotechnology startup aimed at merging the human brain with artificial intelligence. Neuralink’s goal is to develop brain-embedded devices to enhance memory, enable brain-to-machine communication, and treat neurological conditions like Alzheimer’s and spinal cord injuries.

In 2019, Musk announced research on a brain-embedding device similar to a sewing machine. Despite criticism, Neuralink demonstrated early devices as potential cures for paralysis, deafness, blindness, and other disabilities. Clinical trials were announced for 2022, following animal testing on macaque monkeys.

However, concerns over animal welfare violations arose, with reports of botched experiments and unnecessary animal deaths. A federal probe was initiated in 2022. In September 2023, Neuralink was approved for human trials, intending to conduct a six-year study.

The Boring Company

In 2017, Elon Musk founded the Boring Company to construct tunnels for high-speed, underground vehicles aiming to alleviate urban traffic congestion. The company initiated discussions with regulators and constructed a “test trench” on SpaceX’s premises in early 2017. Despite canceling tunnel projects in Chicago and West Los Angeles announced in 2018, a tunnel beneath the Las Vegas Convention Center was completed in early 2021. Local officials approved further expansions, including tunnel construction in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, in 2021.

Twitter / X

Elon Musk expressed interest in buying Twitter as early as 2017, questioning the platform’s commitment to free speech. In January 2022, he began purchasing Twitter shares, ultimately becoming the largest shareholder with a 9.2% stake by April. Musk initially agreed to a deal to join Twitter’s board and limit his ownership to 14.9%. However, he later made a $43 billion offer to buy 100% of Twitter’s stock, leading to a successful acquisition for approximately $44 billion by the end of April.

Tesla’s stock value dropped significantly in response to the deal. Immediately after the acquisition, Musk fired several top Twitter executives including CEO Parag Agrawal; Musk became the CEO instead. However, Musk faced controversy for his actions post-acquisition, including firing top executives, implementing changes to Twitter’s subscription model, and reducing content moderation.

He eventually stepped down as CEO in late 2022 and placed former NBCUniversal executive Linda Yaccarino in the position. Musk remained as executive chairman and chief technology officer. In November 2023, X (presumably Twitter) filed a lawsuit alleging manipulation of its platform by Media Matters in a U.S. District Court in Texas.

Hyperloop

In August 2013, Elon Musk announced plans for a high-speed transportation system called the hyperloop, inspired by the concept of a vactrain. He assigned engineers from SpaceX and Tesla to develop the idea, which was unveiled later that year. The alpha design was published in a whitepaper outlining a route between Los Angeles and San Francisco at an estimated cost of $6 billion, potentially making it cheaper than other modes of transport for long distances.

Musk launched a design competition for Hyperloop pods in 2015, with a track sponsored by SpaceX. In 2017, he announced a tunnel project with the Hawthorne Municipal Airport as its destination. Despite earlier plans for a hyperloop from New York City to Washington, D.C., the project was discontinued in 2022, with the tunnel converted into parking spots for SpaceX workers. Musk aimed for Hyperloop to challenge traditional high-speed train proposals in California and encourage more innovative transportation solutions.

OpenAI and xAI

In December 2015, Elon Musk co-founded OpenAI, a non-profit AI research company dedicated to developing safe and beneficial artificial general intelligence for humanity. He initially pledged $1 billion but later clarified that he had given about $50 million to OpenAI. In 2018, Musk left the OpenAI board due to potential conflicts with his role at Tesla, which was increasingly involved in AI through Tesla Autopilot. OpenAI made notable advancements in machine learning, creating neural networks like GPT-3 for human-like text generation and DALL-E for image generation from text descriptions.

On July 12, 2023, Musk launched xAI, an AI company aiming to develop a generative AI program competing with existing offerings. The company reportedly hired engineers from Google and OpenAI, incorporated in Nevada, and received funding from investors in SpaceX and Tesla.

Elon Musk’s Personal Life:

Wives and Children

Elon Musk Biography, Companies, Net Worth, Age, Wife, Family, Education, Facts

Elon Musk has 10 surviving children from various relationships. His first marriage was to Canadian author Justine Wilson in 2000, but tragedy struck when their first child passed away from sudden infant death syndrome in 2002. Using IVF, they expanded their family with twins in 2004 and triplets in 2006 before divorcing in 2008. In 2022, their eldest twin transitioned to a trans woman and adopted the surname Wilson.

Following his divorce from Wilson, Musk dated English actress Talulah Riley, marrying and divorcing her twice between 2010 and 2016. He then briefly dated Amber Heard in 2017. In 2018, Musk began dating Canadian musician Grimes, with whom he shares a son named X AE A-XII Musk, born in May 2020. Despite welcoming a second child, a daughter named Exa Dark Sideræl Musk, via surrogacy in December 2021, Musk and Grimes announced a semi-separation in September 2021.

Their relationship status remained fluid, with Grimes referring to Musk as her boyfriend in March 2022, only to announce their breakup later that month. In September 2023, Musk and Grimes welcomed their third child, a son named Techno Mechanicus “Tau” Musk, amidst legal battles over parental rights and custody of their eldest son.

In July 2022, court documents revealed that Musk had twins with Shivon Zilis, a director at Neuralink, raising concerns about workplace ethics given their professional relationship. Musk was also implicated in an alleged affair with Nicole Shanahan, the wife of Google co-founder Sergey Brin, leading to her divorce in 2021. Additionally, Musk has been linked to Australian actress Natasha Bassett in what has been described as an occasional relationship.

Elon Musk Filmography:

Elon Musk Movies:

YearTitleRole(s)Notes
2019Men in Black: InternationalHimselfUncredited cameo
2016Why Him?HimselfCameo
2014TranscendenceHimselfCameo
2013Machete KillsHimselfCameo
2010Iron Man 2HimselfCameo
2010DumbstruckExecutive producer
2005Thank You for SmokingValetUncredited cameo; also executive producer

Elon Musk TV Series and Shows:

YearTitleRoleNotes
2015The SimpsonsHimselfEpisode: “The Musk Who Fell to Earth”
2015The Big Bang TheoryHimselfEpisode: “The Platonic Permutation”
2016South ParkHimselfThree episodes: “Members Only”, “Not Funny”, “The End of Serialization as We Know It”
2016–2018MarsHimselfSix episodes
2017Young SheldonHimselfEpisode: “A Patch, a Modem, and a Zantac”; cameo
2019Rick and MortyElon TuskEpisode: “One Crew over the Crewcoo’s Morty”; cameo
2021Saturday Night LiveHimself and various charactersSeason 46, Episode 18

Elon Musk Documentaries:

YearTitleRole
2011Revenge of the Electric CarHimself
2015Racing ExtinctionHimself
2016Lo and BeholdHimself
2022Return to SpaceHimself

Elon Musk FAQs:

When was Elon Musk born?

Elon Musk was born on June 28, 1971.

How did Elon Musk become famous?

Elon Musk co-founded the electronic payment firm PayPal and founded the spacecraft company SpaceX. He became chief executive officer of the electric-car maker Tesla.

Where did Elon Musk go to college?

Elon Musk went to Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada, and then transferred to the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.

What did Elon Musk Accomplish?

Elon Musk founded SpaceX, a company that makes rockets and spacecraft. He became the chief executive officer and a major funder of Tesla, which makes electric cars.

How many hours a week does Elon Musk work?

Elon Musk says he works more than 120 hours a week and if there is a lot of work at times, he sleeps on his factory floor.

How many hours does Elon Musk sleep?

Elon Musk says he sleeps 6 hours a day.

What nationality is Elon Musk?

American,
Canadian,
South African

Who invented Tesla?

Tesla Inc. was invented by Elon Musk, JB Straubel, Martin Eberhard, Marc Tarpenning, and Ian Wright.

How much of Tesla does Elon Musk own?

Around 75% of Musk’s wealth was derived from Tesla stock in November 2020, a proportion that fell to about 37% as of December 2022, after selling nearly $40 billion in company shares since late 2021.

Elon Musk Photos:

Elon Musk Filmography:

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