Elon Musk, the visionary entrepreneur is the co-founder of Tesla Motors (TSLA) and Paypal (PYPL), also the founder of SpaceX. He became a successful person leading to the comparisons of Steve Jobs and Musk, Henry Ford, Howard Hughes and Bill Gates. Musk has a difficult childhood with a relentless worth ethic of 80 to 120 hours per week. He also had a tenacious single-minded vision.

The interview dated on September 7, 2018, Musk was seen smoking marijuana. With the exit of chief accounting and Tesla’s head human resources officer made the stock drop in trade. This became the string of bad news for the company. On August 7, the infamous tweet and a shareholder lawsuit against Musk was another bad news. Musk tweeted about considering the option of taking Tesla private. The company further decided against the move. Tesla’s stock continued to go higher with Musk’s leadership and the increase of his wealth, amidst these incidents.

Tesla announced a compensation structure in Jan 2018, stating that Musk will not receive an annual salary but would earn cash based on the increasing market caps. On Jan 26, 2021, based on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, Musk has an estimated total net worth of $209 billion that surpasses Jeff Bezos, who is considered the richest person in the world.

The education and early life of the man with a string of companies that have disrupted multiple industries are seen here.


Elon Musk was born and raised in South Africa, the CEO and charismatic founder of electric car maker Space X, Tesla and the Boring Company. Before moving to the United States, he spent time in Canada. He was educated at the University of Pennsylvania in the Department of Physics. Musk became a serial tech entrepreneur with early success like X.com and Zip2.

Youth Life and Family Background

Elon Reeve Musk was born in Pretoria ( one of South Africa’s three capital cities) in 1971. His mother was a model and nutritionist, whereas his father was an engineer. Musk was the oldest of three children. Kimbal Musk, his brother is an environmentalist and a venture capitalist. Tosca Musk, his sister is an award-winning director and producer.

When Musk was a child, his parents got divorced and he lived with his father. Musk attended the private Waterkloof House Preparatory School and then graduated from Pretoria Boys High School. Musk was an avid fan of comics. He was bullied at school and self-described as the bookworm. He had an intellectual aptitude that did favours as a child. He got some friends in the school. He was beaten up and bullied at school, making a difficult childhood. Musk became acquainted with programming at the age of 10 through Commodore VIC-20 (inexpensive home computer).

Musk became proficient to create Blaster (a video game of Space-Invaders). Musk sold the BASIC code for the game to a magazine known as PC and Office Technology for 500.21 USD.

Relocating to Canada

Musk moved to Canada at the age of 17. After he emigrated to Canada, he got enrolled in the Queen’s University of Kingston, Ontario. Musk met Justine Wilson, an aspiring writer. They married and have 5 sons together before they got divorced in 2008.

Musk’s Education

Musk got transferred to the University of Pennsylvania. Where he took two majors and bought a 10-bedroom fraternity house with a fellow student. They used the house for an ad hoc nightclub. Musk graduated in the Bachelor of Arts in Economics and a Bachelor of Science in Physics from the Wharton School. Musk moved to California at the age of 24 to pursue a PhD in applied physics at Stanford University. But he left the program within 2 days as he had other plans.

Musk started Zip2 (software company), along with his brother Kimbal in 1995. This helped the newspapers to develop online city guides. Zip2 was sold for 340 million USD to Compaq’s AltaVista web search engine in 1999. Musk used the money to create X.com to shape the future of banking. X.com was merged with a company known as Confinity and PayPal. It was then bought by eBay for 1.5 billion USD. Musk helped to fund for the electric car startup known as Tesla.


Musk joined engineers Marc Tarpenning and Martin Eberhard to run Tesla Motors in 2004. Musk designed the first electric car called Tesla Roadster. When Eberhard was ousted in 2007, Musk became the product architect and CEO. Tesla became the world’s popular and coveted car brands under Musk’s watch.

His interstellar travel company SpaceX bought high-profile contracts with the United States Air Force and Nasa to conduct military missions and to design rockets. Musk has plans to send an astronaut to Mars in collaboration with Nasa in 2025.

Tesla has a robust presence in the solar energy space. The clean energy services company produces two rechargeable solar batteries used for stationary energy storage purposes.

Bottom Line

The early interest of Musk in reading science fiction, philosophy and fantasy novels reflects in human progress and idealism. He works with the Internet, space colonization and transition to renewable energy sources that aims for the future.


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