Happy birthday Elon Musk: Tracing his life and key milestones
Tesla and SpaceX CEO, Elon Musk, has been an enigma to many. From being the richest man on the planet to one of the most prolific tweeters, the billionaire businessman has managed to stand out in everything he does. As he turns 51 today, let's take a quick glance at his journey from Pretoria to the top of the world.
Born in Pretoria, Musk spent most of his early years in the South African city. Provoked by apartheid and inspired by the US, he left for Canada in 1988. In 1997, he obtained bachelor's degrees in physics and economics from the University of Pennsylvania. At 24, Musk enrolled at Stanford University but left after two days to become a part of the internet boom.
Musk's first marriage was in 2000 to Justine Wilson, with whom he has five children. He married actress Talulah Riley in 2010 and divorced her in 2012. They remarried in 2013 and divorced in 2016. Musk also dated Amber Heard. In 2018, he announced that he was dating Canadian singer Grimes. The two are not together anymore but have a son and a daughter.
Musk's entrepreneurial ability was visible from an early age. At the age of 12, he developed and sold a programming code for a game called 'Blastar' for $500. He carried over his money-making fervor to the University of Pennsylvania as well. Musk, along with his friend, started a nightclub with a $5 entry fee to pay his rent.
With his mind set on reaping rewards from the internet boom, Musk co-founded Zip2, an online alternative to the yellow pages, in 1995. The company was started on borrowed funds. Musk and his brother Kimbal sold the company to Compaq Computer Corporation for $307 million in 1999. He received $22 million for his 7% share.
Using a part of his earnings from the sale of Zip2, Musk co-founded a financial services firm dubbed X.com, which later came to be known as PayPal. After PayPal was acquired by eBay in 2022 for $1.5 billion, Musk received $180 million. He used $100 million out of this to start SpaceX. The space exploration company is currently valued at $125 billion.
Musk is best known for his role as the CEO of Tesla. He became the company's CEO in 2007 after ousting then-CEO Martin Eberhard. With a current valuation of over $700 billion, Tesla is one of the most valuable companies in the world. However, do you know that Musk almost sold it to Google for $11 billion in 2013?
Have you ever felt that Musk reminded you of a beloved movie character? If you did, it's no coincidence. Iron Man director John Favreau had previously revealed that he consulted Musk to learn the mannerism of a tech mogul-cum-billionaire. Yes, you heard it right. Tony Stark aka Iron Man was based on the man himself.