Visionary business owner Elon Musk is the co-founder of PayPal (PYPL) and Tesla Motors (TSLA) in addition to the founder of SpaceX. His astounding success has actually given rise to comparisons of Musk and Steve Jobs, Howard Hughes, Henry Ford, and Bill Gates. Amidst a typically difficult childhood, Musk established an unrelenting work principles (he is understood to work as lots of as 80 to 120 hours each week) and a tenacious single-minded vision.

On Sept. 7, 2018, Musk seemed smoking cannabis while interviewing for a podcast. Paired with the exit of Tesla’s head of personnels and chief accounting officer, that news saw the stock drop in trade. This was simply another addition to the string of problem for the business, including a shareholder lawsuit against Musk and the business for his notorious tweet on Aug. 7. Musk had tweeted that he is considering taking Tesla personal. The business later decided against the relocation.

Regardless of these events, Tesla’s stock has actually only continued to climb up greater under Musk’s leadership, increasing his wealth in addition to it. In Jan. 2018, Tesla announced a compensation structure in which Musk would not get an annual salary but would rather make money based upon the increasing market caps the business hoped to attain over the next 10 years. Since Jan. 26, 2021, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, he has an approximated overall net worth of $209 billion, surpassing Jeff Bezos as the richest individual in the world.

We take a look at the early life and education of the man behind a string of business that have actually disrupted several industries.

Key Takeaways

  • Elon Musk is the charming founder and CEO of electrical car maker Tesla as well as SpaceX and the Boring Business.
  • Born and raised in South Africa, Musk hung out in Canada prior to finally transferring to the U.S.
  • Educated at the University of Pennsylvania in physics, Musk began getting his feet damp as a serial tech business owner with early successes like Zip2 and X.com.

Household Background and Youth in South Africa

Elon Reeve Musk was born in 1971 in Pretoria, among South Africa’s three capital cities. His dad was an engineer and his mother was a design and nutritional expert. He is the earliest of three kids in an ambitious family. His sibling Kimbal Musk is currently a venture capitalist and ecologist. His sis Tosca Musk is an award-winning producer and director.

After his moms and dads divorced when he was a child, Musk lived mostly with his father. Musk began school a year early, attending the private Waterkloof Home Preparatory School and later graduating from Pretoria Boys High School. He read voraciously and was also a passionate fan of comics. Self-described as a book lover and something of a clever aleck, he was bullied in school and withdrew to his books at the expenditure of his social life.

Bullied as a Child

Musk’s intellectual aptitude did him few favors as a kid. He discovered couple of buddies in the tough-minded Afrikaner culture he experienced in school.

“I had a horrible upbringing. I had a great deal of hardship maturing. Something I stress over with my kids is they do not deal with sufficient misfortune,” he would later on say in an interview.

Musk went to the English-speaking Waterkloof Home Preparatory School, and later finished from Pretoria Boys High School. The years were lonely and ruthless, from his descriptions.

“They got my friend to lure me out of hiding so they could beat me up. Which hurt,” Musk stated. “For some reason they chose that I was it, and they were going to go after me continuously. That’s what made maturing challenging. For a number of years there was no reprieve. You get gone after around by gangs at school who attempted to beat the (expletive) out of me, and then I ‘d get home, and it would just be awful there as well.”

If there was a point of intense escape for Musk; it was innovation. When he was only 10, he became acquainted with programming through the Commodore VIC-20, an inexpensive home computer. Eventually, he had become competent enough to create Blastar– a computer game in the style of Space-Invaders. He offered the BASIC code for the video game to a publication called PC and Office Innovation for $500.

In one informing occurrence at that time, Musk, along with his brother, planned to open a video game arcade near their school. Ultimately, their parents nixed the plan. But obviously the only thing stopping them was the requirement for a city permit which needed to be made an application for by a grownup.

Relocating to Canada

At 17, Musk relocated to Canada to prevent serving in the South African armed force, whose main responsibility in the late 1980s was implementing apartheid. He would later acquire Canadian citizenship through his mom.

After emigrating to Canada, Musk registered in Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. It was there that he fulfilled Justine Wilson, an aspiring writer. They would marry and have five children together, twins and triplets, before separating in 2008.

Musk’s Education in the U.S.

. After two years at Queen’s University, Musk moved to the University of Pennsylvania. He handled 2 majors, however his time there wasn’t all work and no play. With a fellow student, he purchased a 10-bedroom fraternity home, which they utilized as an advertisement hoc nightclub.

Musk finished with a Bachelor’s degree in Physics, as well as a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from the Wharton School. The two majors speak to the direction Musk’s career would take later, however it was physics that made the inmost impression on his thinking.

“(Physics is) a great framework for believing,” he ‘d later state. “Boil things down to their basic realities and reason up from there.”

Musk was 24 years old when he transferred to California to pursue a Ph.D. in applied physics at Stanford University. With the Internet blowing up and Silicon Valley growing, Musk had entrepreneurial visions dancing in his head. He left the Ph.D. program after simply two days.

In 1995, with $28,000 and his younger bro Kimbal at his side, Musk began Zip2, a web software company that would help papers establish online city guides. In 1999, Zip2 was acquired by Compaq’s AltaVista web online search engine for a tremendous $340 million. Musk utilized his Zip2 buyout cash to create X.com, which he planned to form into the future of banking. X was merged with a company called Confinity and the resulting company became known as PayPal. Musk was then ousted from the company prior to it was purchased by eBay for $1.5 billion.

After PayPal slipped away, Musk assisted create financing for an electric automobile start-up called Tesla.

Tesla and Beyond

In 2004, Musk signed up with engineers Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning to help run Tesla Motors, where Musk was integral in designing the first electric vehicle: the Tesla Roadster. After Eberhard was ousted from the company in 2007, following a series of differences, Musk took management control as CEO and item designer. Under his watch, Tesla has turned into one of the world’s most popular and desirable car brand names.

With his interstellar travel company SpaceX, Musk landed several high-profile contracts with NASA and the United States Flying force to create rockets and carry out military objectives. Musk has been singing about his plans to send an astronaut to Mars by the year 2025 in a collective effort with NASA.

In addition to producing electrical cars, Tesla maintains a robust existence in the solar power space, thanks to its acquisition of SolarCity. Established in 2006, this clean energy services company currently produces two rechargeable solar batteries, generally utilized for stationary energy storage purposes. The smaller sized Powerwall was developed for house backup power and off-the-grid use, while the larger Powerpack is planned for business or electrical utility grid use.

The Bottom Line

Musk’s early interest in reading approach, sci-fi, and dream books is reflected in his sense of idealism and concern with human progress. He aims to operate in the areas he has recognized as important to our future, specifically the Web, the transition to renewable energy sources, and area colonization. With his work with PayPal, Tesla Motors, SolarCity, and SpaceX, he has defied critics and made advances in all three of these frontiers.