Elon Musk, (born June 28, 1971, Pretoria, South Africa), South African-born American entrepreneur who cofounded the electronic-payment firm PayPal and formed SpaceX, maker of launch vehicles and spacecraft. He was also one of the first significant investors in, as well as chief executive officer of, the electric car manufacturer Tesla.
Richest man in the world
Elon Musk was born in South Africa and attended a university in Canada before transferring to the University of Pennsylvania, where he earned bachelor’s degrees in physics and economics. Two days after enrolling in a graduate physics program at Stanford University, Musk deferred attendance to launch Zip2, one of the earliest online navigation services. He reinvested a portion of the proceeds from this startup to create X.com, the online payment system that was sold to eBay Inc. (EBAY) and ultimately became PayPal Holdings Inc. (PYPL).
In 2004, Musk became a major funder of Tesla Motors (now Tesla), which led to his current position as CEO of the electric vehicle company. In addition to its line of electric automobiles, Tesla also produces energy storage devices, automobile accessories, and, through its acquisition of SolarCity in 2016, solar power systems. Musk is also CEO and chief engineer of Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX), a developer of space launch rockets.
In 2020, Tesla shares soared 740% to propel Musk up the wealth rankings. In December 2020, Tesla joined the S&P 500, becoming the largest company added. In January 2021, Musk became the richest person in the world (a title he’s held since).
In a Nov. 6, 2021 tweet, Musk asked his Twitter audience whether he should sell 10% of his Tesla stock, framing the issue as a response to criticism of unrealized capital gains as a means of avoiding taxes. He proceeded to sell shares worth $16.4 billion over the remainder of 2021.
U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a Massachusetts Democrat, has cited a media report that Musk paid no income tax for 2018 to argue for the adoption of a wealth tax. “And if you opened your eyes for 2 seconds, you would realize I will pay more taxes than any American in history this year,” Musk responded on Twitter.
Thanks to the surge in Tesla shares in 2021 and private transactions boosting the reported valuation of SpaceX, Musk’s lead in the global wealth rankings has continued to grow. His net worth hit a high of $340 billion in November 2021.2
In April 2022, Musk began a campaign to take Twitter private, which culminated in a $44 billion buyout. Musk planned to fund the deal with $21 billion of his own capital. In the run up to the buyout announcement, Musk sold 9.6 million shares of Tesla, valued at roughly $8.5 billion.
In July 2022, Musk decided to back out of the Twitter buyout. As a result, Twitter filed a lawsuit against Musk to force the buyout to go through—then Musk countersued the company.
Background of Elon Musk
Musk was born to a South African father and a Canadian mother. He displayed an early talent for Musk was born to a South African father and a Canadian mother. He displayed an early talent for computers and entrepreneurship. At age 12 he created a video game and sold it to a computer magazine. In 1988, after obtaining a Canadian passport, Musk left South Africa because he was unwilling to support apartheid through compulsory military service and because he sought the greater economic opportunities available in the United States. and entrepreneurship. At age 12 he created a video game and sold it to a computer magazine. In 1988, after obtaining a Canadian passport, Musk left South Africa because he was unwilling to support apartheid through compulsory military service and because he sought the greater economic opportunities available in the United States.
Companies of Elon Musk
Paypal and SpaceX
Musk attended Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, and in 1992 he transferred to the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, where he received bachelor’s degrees in physics and economics in 1997. He enrolled in graduate school in physics at Stanford University in California, but he left after only two days because he felt that the Internet had much more potential to change society than work in physics. In 1995 he founded Zip2, a company that provided maps and business directories to online newspapers. In 1999 Zip2 was bought by the computer manufacturer Compaq for $307 million, and Musk then founded an online financial services company, X.com, which later became PayPal, which specialized in transferring money online. The online auction eBay bought PayPal in 2002 for $1.5 billion.
Musk was long convinced that for life to survive, humanity has to become a multiplanet species. However, he was dissatisfied with the great expense of rocket launchers. In 2002 he founded Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) to make more affordable rockets. Its first two rockets were the Falcon 1 (first launched in 2006) and the larger Falcon 9 (first launched in 2010), which were designed to cost much less than competing rockets. A third rocket, the Falcon Heavy (first launched in 2018), was designed to carry 117,000 pounds (53,000 kg) to orbit, nearly twice as much as its largest competitor, the Boeing Company’s Delta IV Heavy, for one-third the cost.
SpaceX has announced the successor to the Falcon 9 and the Falcon Heavy: the Super Heavy–Starship system. The Super Heavy first stage would be capable of lifting 100,000 kg (220,000 pounds) to low Earth orbit. The payload would be the Starship, a spacecraft designed for providing fast transportation between cities on Earth and building bases on the Moon and Mars. SpaceX also developed the Dragon spacecraft, which carries supplies to the International Space Station (ISS). Dragon can carry as many as seven astronauts, and it had a crewed flight carrying astronauts Doug Hurley and Robert Behnken to the ISS in 2020. The first test flights of the Super Heavy–Starship system launched in 2020. In addition to being CEO of SpaceX, Musk was also chief designer in building the Falcon rockets, Dragon, and Starship.
Musk had long been interested in the possibilities of electric cars, and in 2004 he became one of the major funders of Tesla Motors (later renamed Tesla), an electric car company founded by entrepreneurs Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning. In 2006 Tesla introduced its first car, the Roadster, which could travel 245 miles (394 km) on a single charge. Unlike most previous electric vehicles, which Musk thought were stodgy and uninteresting, it was a sports car that could go from 0 to 60 miles (97 km) per hour in less than four seconds.
In 2010 the company’s initial public offering raised about $226 million. Two years later Tesla introduced the Model S sedan, which was acclaimed by automotive critics for its performance and design. The company won further praise for its Model X luxury SUV, which went on the market in 2015. The Model 3, a less-expensive vehicle, went into production in 2017 and became the best-selling electric car of all time.
Dissatisfied with the projected cost ($68 billion) of a high-speed rail system in California, Musk in 2013 proposed an alternate faster system, the Hyperloop, a pneumatic tube in which a pod carrying 28 passengers would travel the 350 miles (560 km) between Los Angeles and San Francisco in 35 minutes at a top speed of 760 miles (1,220 km) per hour, nearly the speed of sound.
Musk claimed that the Hyperloop would cost only $6 billion and that, with the pods departing every two minutes on average, the system could accommodate the six million people who travel that route every year. However, he stated, between running SpaceX and Tesla, he could not devote time to the Hyperloop’s development.
Credit: Information collected from Britannica
FAQs on Elon Musk
When was Elon Musk born?
Elon Musk was born on June 28, 1971.
How did Elon Musk become famous?
Elon Musk cofounded 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.