|Net Worth:||$188.5 billion|
|Date of Birth:||Jun 28, 1971 (49 years old)|
|Height:||6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)|
|Profession:||Aerospace Engineer, Engineer, Entrepreneur, Investor, Designer, Businessperson, Inventor, Film Producer|
Elon Musk was born on June 28, 1971, in Pretoria, Transvaal, South Africa, he is the son of Maye Haldeman, a model and dietician from Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada, and Errol Musk, a South African engineer, pilot, and sailor. He has a younger brother, Kimbal (born 1972), and a younger sister, Tosca (born 1974). Her paternal grandmother was British, and she also has Dutch ancestry.
His maternal grandfather was American, from Minnesota. After his parents divorced in 1980, Musk lived primarily with his father in the Pretoria suburbs, by his own choosing, but now says ” it wasn’t a good idea .” As an adult, Elon Musk has broken relationships with his father.
During his childhood he was an avid reader and at age 10, he developed an interest in computing with the Commodore VIC-20 computer. He taught himself computer programming at the age of 12, sold the code for a video game he created called Blastar, to PC and Office Technology magazine for $ 500.
He was an avid reader. His childhood readings included Isaac Asimov’s Foundation series from which he drew an important lesson: “ You must try to take the set of actions that are likely to prolong civilization, minimize the likelihood of a dark age, and reduce the duration of a dark age. if there is one ”.
Elon Musk was initially educated in private schools, attending the English-speaking Waterkloof House preparatory school. He then graduated from Pretoria Boys High School and moved to Canada in June 1989, just before his 18th birthday, after obtaining Canadian citizenship through his mother.
At the age of 17, Musk was accepted to Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, for undergraduate study. After spending two years there, Musk transferred to the University of Pennsylvania, where in May 1997 he received a BA in Physics from its College of Arts and Sciences, and a BA in Economics from the School of Business. While at the University of Pennsylvania, Musk and his partner Adeo Ressi, rented a 10-bedroom frat house and used it as an unofficial nightclub.
In 1995, at age 24, Musk moved to California to begin a Ph.D. in applied physics and materials science at Stanford University , but dropped out of the program after two days to pursue his entrepreneurial aspirations in the areas of internet, energy. renewable energy and interior space.
In 1995, Musk and his brother, Kimbal, started Zip2, a web software company, with money raised from a small group of angel investors. The company developed and marketed a “city guide” online, and secured contracts with The New York Times and the Chicago Tribune, persuading the boards of those outlets to abandon plans for a merger with CitySearch.
While at Zip2, Musk wanted to be the CEO; however, none of the partners would allow it; And that was until Compaq acquired Zip2 for $ 307 million in cash and $ 34 million in stock options in February 1999. From this transaction, Musk received 22 million equivalent to his 7% stake.
X.com and PayPal
In March 1999, Musk co-founded X.com, an online email, and financial services company, with $ 10 million from the sale of Zip2. A year later, the company merged with Confinity, which had a money transfer service called PayPal. The merged company focused on the PayPal service and was finally renamed that way in 2001; Its initial growth was mainly due to a viral marketing campaign in which new customers were recruited when they received money through the service.
- Musk was ousted from his position as CEO in October 2000 (although he remained on the board of directors) due to disagreements with other company leaders, primarily over his desire to move PayPal’s Unix- based infrastructure to Microsoft Windows. PayPal was acquired by eBay in October 2002, 1,500 million shares, of which Musk as he received 165 million, which was the largest shareholder of the company, owned 11.7% stake.
In July 2017, he bought back the domain x.com, which belonged to PayPal, for an undisclosed amount, after which he indicated that it had ” great sentimental value ” for him.
In 2001, Musk conceptualized “Oasis of Mars”, a project to carry out an experimental greenhouse on Mars with food crops adapted to the Martian regolith; this was done in an attempt to regain public interest in space exploration. Musk traveled to Moscow with Jim Cantrell (an aerospace supply solver) and Adeo Ressi (his best friend from college) in October 2001 to purchase the refurbished Dnepr Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs) that could deliver the payloads to the space.
The group met with companies like NPO Lavochkin and Kosmotras; however, according to Cantrell, Musk was viewed as a “rookie” by one of Russia’s leading designers , and the group had to return to the United States empty-handed.
They returned to Russia to look for three ICBM in February 2002 and took with Mike Griffin, who had worked for the arm venture capital CIA, In-Q-Tel, and for Propulsion Laboratory of NASA, and he had just left Orbital Sciences, a manufacturer of satellites and spacecraft.
The group met again with Kosmotras, and they were offered a rocket for 8 million dollars; however, Musk found it too expensive; He stormed out of the meeting; he had wasted time traveling to Russia. On the flight back from Moscow, he realized that all he had to do was start a company so he could make his own rockets.
According to Steve Jurvetson, an investor in Tesla and SpaceX, Musk calculated that the raw material to build a rocket was actually only 3% of the selling price of a rocket at the time. It was concluded that, in theory, by applying vertical integration and the modular approach to software engineering, SpaceX could reduce the launch price by up to 10 times the market price and still enjoy a 70% gross margin…
With 100 million of his fortune, Musk founded Space Exploration Technologies, or SpaceX, in May 2002. He became Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of the Hawthorne, California-based company.
The company’s first two vehicles were the Falcon 1 and Falcon 9 rockets (a nod to the Millennium Falcon from Star Wars ), and its first spacecraft was the Dragon (a nod to the Magic Dragon Puff ). In seven years, SpaceX designed the Falcon family of launch vehicles and the Dragon multipurpose spacecraft.