Who is Elon Musk? The biography of the founder of Tesla and SpaceX

Who is Elon Musk? The success story of the founder and CEO of the well-known American companies Tesla and SpaceX.

South African entrepreneur Elon Musk is known for founding Tesla Motors and SpaceX , which launched a commercial spaceship in 2012.

A character often at the center of controversy, he has made innovation and renewable energy a life purpose, which he pursues through his companies. But how did he become one of the most famous entrepreneurs in the world?

Through his biography , tells the success story of Elon Musk.

Who is Elon Musk?

Elon Reeve Musk (born June 28, 1971) is a South African-born American entrepreneur and businessman.

In 1999, he founded , the future PayPal ; in 2002 he created the aerospace company SpaceX and Tesla Motors in 2003.

At just under 30, Musk becomes a multimillionaire, thanks to the sale of his startup Zip2 to a division of Compaq Computers .

Musk rose to fame in May 2012, when SpaceX launched a rocket that would send the first commercial vehicle to the International Space Station.

It strengthened its portfolio with the purchase of SolarCity in 2016 and solidified its position as an industry leader by serving in an advisory role in the early days of President Donald Trump ‘s administration .

Net assets

In 2022, Elon Musk’s net worth of 219 billion dollars , according to Forbes , makes him the richest man in the world, displacing Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon, in second place, with his “only” 171 billion dollars .

He made his first billion with the sale of PayPal in 2002; His company SpaceX is worth over 74 billion dollars.


Elon Musk is the richest man in the world, here’s how much he earns (and how)

Elon Musk is the richest man in the world, here's how much he earns (and how)

Studies and training

At the age of 17, in 1989, Elon Musk moved to Canada to attend Queen’s University and avoid compulsory service in the South African army. He dropped out in 1992 to study economics and physics at the University of Pennsylvania . He graduated in economics and obtained a second degree in physics.

He embarks on the path of a doctorate in energy physics at Stanford University , in California, but Elon Musk will not finish his studies. In fact, he chooses to follow his entrepreneurial aspiration in the fields of the internet, renewable energy and space exploration.

Shortly thereafter, he founded his first company, Zip2 Corporation , a sort of online city guide that, before long, provided content for the websites of the New York Times and the Chicago Tribune .

In 1999, a division of Compaq Computer Corporation purchased Zip2 for $307 million in cash and $34 million in stock options.


In 1999, Musk co-founded , an online financial services/payments company. An acquisition of the following year leads to the creation of PayPal , as it is known today. In October 2002, PayPal was acquired by eBay for $1.5 billion in stock. Before the sale, Musk owned 11% of PayPal’s stock.

Elon Musk and Tesla

Elon Musk is co-founder, CEO and product architect of Tesla Motors, a company dedicated to producing affordable electric cars , as well as batteries and solar roofs. Musk oversees the company’s product development, engineering and product design.

Five years after its formation, in 2008, the company introduced the Roadster, a sports car capable of accelerating from 0 to 100 km/h in 3.7 seconds, as well as traveling almost 250 miles via its lithium-ion battery. With a stake in the company from Daimler and a strategic partnership with Toyota, Tesla Motors launches its initial public offering (IPO) in June 2010 , raising $226 million in the market.

Other successes include the Model S, the company’s first electric sedan. Capable of covering 265 miles between charges, the Model S was awarded Car of the Year in 2013 by Motor Trend magazine .

In April 2017, Tesla announces that it has surpassed General Motors as the largest automaker in the United States. The news is a clear blessing for Tesla, which is busy ramping up production and launching the Model 3 sedan later that year.

In November 2017, Musk presents the new Tesla Semi and the new Roadster at the company’s design studio. The semi-truck, which will go into production in 2019, boasts more than 500 miles of range as well as a battery and motor built to last 1 million miles. The Roadster, whose production is scheduled to start in 2020, will become the fastest production car ever made, from 0 to 60 km/h in 1.9 seconds.

After initially aiming to produce 5,000 new Model 3 cars per week by December 2017, Musk pushes the goal back to March 2018, and then to June as the new year begins. The announced delay did not surprise industry experts, who were well aware of the company’s production problems , although some questioned how long investors will remain patient with these dynamics.

In April 2018 it emerged that Musk had pushed aside the head of engineering to personally oversee work in that division. In a Twitter exchange with a journalist, Musk reports that it is important to ” divide and conquer ” to reach production goals and ” go back to sleeping in the factory .”

Currently, Tesla shares are down. The company’s market capitalization plummeted 15%, causing Elon Musk a personal loss of $31.4 billion, according to Forbes estimates .


From shoes to cars: the blockade in China stops the trade of these products

From shoes to cars: the blockade in China stops the trade of these products

Analyst Dan Ives attributed the reasons for the decline in shares to ” the problems of the Shanghai factories due to policies against Covid in China “, which ” represented a major obstacle for this stock already in a tense situation “, as well as to the increase in the rate of inflation and interest rates, which has decreased the interest of investors in activities considered relatively speculative.

The Birth of SpaceX
Musk founded his third company, Space Exploration Technologies Corporation, or SpaceX, in 2002 with the intent of building spacecraft for ordinary people’s space travel. In 2008, SpaceX shows good consolidation and NASA awards the company the contract to manage cargo transportation to the International Space Station, with a plan to transport astronauts in the future and the intention to replace NASA’s space shuttle missions .

Falcon 9 Rockets
On May 22, 2012, Musk and SpaceX make history when the company launches its Falcon 9 rocket into space with an unmanned capsule. The vehicle is sent to the International Space Station with 1,000 pounds in supplies for the astronauts stationed there. This is the first time a private company has sent a spacecraft to the International Space Station. During the launch, Musk declared: ” I feel very lucky… For us it’s like winning the Super Bowl .”

In December 2013, another Falcon 9 successfully carries a satellite into geosynchronous transfer orbit , a distance at which the satellite would position itself in an orbital path corresponding to the Earth’s rotation. In February 2015, SpaceX launches another Falcon 9 equipped with the Deep Space Climate Observatory (Dscovr) satellite, with the aim of observing emissions from the sun that affect electrical grids and communications systems on Earth.

In March 2017, SpaceX successfully tests a test flight and landing of a Falcon 9 rocket made from reusable parts , a development that opened the door to more accessible space travel. A setback came in November 2017, when an explosion occurred during a test of the new Block 5 Merlin engine developed by the company. SpaceX reports that no one was injured and that the problem will not hinder its planned launch of the next generation of Falcon 9 rockets .


Elon Musk hunting for lithium: will Tesla enter the mining business?

Elon Musk hunting for lithium: will Tesla enter the mining business?

The company marks another milestone in February 2018 with the successful launch of the powerful Falcon Heavy rocket . Equipped with additional Falcon 9 boosters , the Falcon Heavy is designed to carry massive payloads into orbit and potentially serve as a deep space mission ship. For the test launch, the Falcon Heavy was given a load of Musk-developed cherry red Tesla Roadsters, equipped with cameras to ” offer some epic views ” of the vehicle’s planned orbit around the sun.

The Mars Mission
In September 2017, Musk unveiled an updated design plan for his Bfr (an acronym for “ Big F—ing Rocket ” or “ Big Falcon Rocket ”), a 31-engine behemoth topped by a spaceship capable of carrying at least 100 people. He reveals that SpaceX aims to launch the first cargo missions to Mars with the vehicle in 2022, as part of its overall goal to colonize the red planet.

In March 2018, the entrepreneur told an audience at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, that he hoped to have the BFR ready for short flights early next year.

In September 2019, Elon Musk announced the first orbital flight of Starship , the gigantic cargo spaceship that should allow the transport of materials to build a self-sustainable city on Mars. However, Starship will only be able to complete its first test flight on Earth with a successful landing (previous prototypes exploded on contact with the ground) in 2021.

In February 2022, Musk announces from his Starbase space base (Boca Chica, Texas) that the first orbital flight should take place by the end of the year, but he provided no other details.

The acquisition of SolarCity

In August 2016, with Musk increasingly committed to promoting and promoting sustainable energy and products to more and more consumers, a $2.6 billion deal was finalized to combine his electric car company and with another always in Musk’s hands specializing in solar energy.

His Tesla Motors Inc. announces the purchase of shares of SolarCity Corp., a company that Musk helped his cousins ​​found in 2006. He is a majority shareholder of both.

Elon Musk’s wives and children

Elon Musk married Justine Wilson in 2000. After a difficult divorce, Musk met actress Talulah Riley and the couple married in 2010. They separated in 2012, but married again in 2013. Their relationship finally ended in divorce in 2016.

Elon Musk has five children with ex-wife Justine Wilson. In 2002, her first child died at 10 weeks old due to sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Musk and Wilson will later have five more children together: a couple and a trio of twins.

Family of origin and early years of life

Son of a Canadian mother and a South African father, Elon Musk spent his early childhood with his brother Kimbal and sister Tosca in South Africa. At the age of 10, when his parents divorced, young Elon developed a particular interest in computers. He taught himself to program, and when he was 12 years old he made his first sale of a game software he had created called Blastar.

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