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Who Is Elon Musk?

Over the past fifty years, Musk has been CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, founder of The Boring Company, and co-founder of OpenAI and Neuralink, focusing on his long-term goal: to escape Earth and colonize Mars.

In fact, decked out among space rockets, electric cars, solar cells and the billions he earns along the way, Musk is basically a real - life Tony Stark-which is why he inspired Marvel's 2008 "Iron Man" movie.

But it hasn't always been a smooth cruise for Musk. He went from being bullied at school to being a small-time entrepreneur and eventually becoming the CEO of two big companies that seemed to have sprung out of science fiction. Along the way, he nearly went bankrupt, provoking lawsuits and government scrutiny, and became one of the most controversial figures in the business world.

Elon Musk was born in Pretoria, South Africa on June 28, 1971.

(A general view of the unity building is seen in Pretoria, South Africa.)

Musk's mother, Maye, is a professional dietitian and model. Special K has appeared on cereal boxes and on the cover of Time magazine. In 2017, at the age of 69, she signed with CoverGirl.

(Elon and Maye Musk)

After his parents divorced in 1979, Musk, 9, and his younger brother, Kimbal, decided to live with their father.After that, his notoriously troubled relationship with his father began to emerge. "It wasn't a good idea," Musk told Rolling Stone in an interview about moving in with his father.

(Musk' brother Kimbal.)

Musk sold a simple game called "Blastar" to a computer magazine for $ 500 in 1983 when he was 12. Musk called it " a trivial game ... but it's better than Flappybird," he said.

Musk's school days weren't easy, though.He was once hospitalized after being beaten by bullies. The bullies threw Musk down a series of stairs and beat him until he fainted.

After high school, Musk moved to Canada with his mother Maye, sister Tosca, and brother Kimbal, and studied for two years at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario. However, he completed his education at the University of Pennsylvania, earning degrees in physics and economics.

Musk rented a 10-bedroom fraternity house with a classmate while he was studying at the University of Pennsylvania and turned it into a nightclub. The move, which Musk took on with his brother, was one of his first entrepreneurial experiments.

After graduating, Musk went to Stanford University to pursue a PhD, but barely started the program before leaving. After spending just two days in California, he delayed his admission and decided to try his luck in the dot-com boom that was just beginning. He never returned to finish his studies at Stanford.

Along with his brother Kimbal, Musk launched Zip2. A group of Silicon Valley investors helped fund the company, which provides city travel guides to newspapers such as the New York Times and the Chicago Tribune.

As Zip2 took off from the ground, Musk literally lived in the office and showered at a local YMCA. The hard work paid off when Compaq bought Zip2 in a deal worth $ 341 million in cash and stock, giving Musk $ 22 million.

Musk later became an online banking company he founded. He founded the company in 1999 using the $ 10 million he raised from the sale of Zip2. About a year later,, merged with Confinity, a financial venture founded by Peter Thiel, to form PayPal.

Musk was named CEO of the nascent PayPal-but it wasn't going to last long. In October 2000, he began a major struggle among PayPal's co-founders by pressuring them to move their servers from the decommissioned Unix operating system to Microsoft Windows. Maxlevchin, PayPal's co-founder and then CEO, pushed back hard.

Max Levchin (left), former Chief Technology Officer of PayPal.

As Musk headed to Australia for a much-needed holiday, PayPal's board fired him and made Thiel the new CEO. "That's the problem with the holidays," Musk told Fortune years later about his ill-fated trip in late 2000.

But things worked out for Musk-he had another surprise when eBay bought PayPal in late 2002. As PayPal's sole largest shareholder, out of the $ 1.5 billion price eBay paid, Musk made $ 165 million.

Even before the PayPal sale, Musk had been dreaming of his next move, including a crazy plan to send mice or plants to Mars. In early 2002, Musk founded the company that would become known as Space Exploration Technologies, or SpaceX, with $ 100 million in money from the sale of PayPal. Musk's goal was to make space flight 10 times cheaper.

Another early vehicle was named after the song "Puff The Magic Dragon"."The Dragon, the name of the spacecraft, was Musk's hit on skeptics who said SpaceX could never put vehicles into space.

(Space X's Dragon spacecraft.)

SpaceX's long-term goal is to make colonizing Mars economical. Musk said SpaceX will not apply for an initial public offering until what he calls a "Mars colony carrier" flies regularly.

Musk has also been very busy on earth, especially with Tesla Motors. In 2004, Musk made the first of a total $ 70 million investment in Tesla, an electric car company founded by senior startup executive Martin Eberhard.

Musk took an active product role at Tesla and helped develop his first car, the Roadster. The all-electric Roadster debuted in 2006, when Musk served as Tesla's President. He now serves as CEO.

(Tesla Roadster'.)

As if that wasn't enough, Musk came up with the idea for SolarCity, a solar energy company. Musk gave his cousins Peter and Lyndonrive the working capital to get SolarCity off the ground in 2006. (In late 2016, Tesla acquired SolarCity in a $ 2.6 billion deal.)

SolarCity co-founder Lyndon Rive (left) and Musk.

In 2007, Musk staged a boardroom coup at Tesla, first removing Eberhard from the CEO's chair, then from the company's board and executive suites altogether.

In 2008, when the financial crisis severely limited his options, musk personally saved Tesla from bankruptcy. He invested $ 40 million in musktesla and loaned the company another $ 40 million. Not coincidentally, he was named CEO of the company in the same year.

But between SpaceX, Tesla and SolarCity, Musk is almost decommissioned. He describes 2008 as "the worst year of his life." Tesla was continuing to lose money and SpaceX was having trouble launching its Falcon 1 rocket. By 2009, Musk was living on personal loans to survive.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk stands on the podium as he attends a forum on startups in Hong Kong, China, January 26, 2016.

Musk's personal life was also in disarray: Musk and his wife, Justine, a Canadian writer, divorced in 2008. The couple had married in 2000 when their first son, Nevada, died of SIDS when he was 10 weeks old (Musk later had twin and triplet boys).

Justine Musk.

On Christmas Day 2008, Musk received two good news: SpaceX awarded a $ 1.5 billion contract with NASA to supply material to space, and Tesla eventually found more outside investors.

By June 2010, Tesla had conducted a successful IPO. The company raised $ 226 million in an initial public offering, becoming the first car company to go public since Ford in 1956. Musk sold about $ 15 million worth of shares in the bid to get his finances back on track.

Sunday June 29, 2010, Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk waves after ringing the opening bell on the NASDAQ Market to celebrate his company's IPO in New York.

Musk's remarkable career was also beginning to be noticed in other circles, especially Hollywood. Robert DowneyJr. His portrayal of tonystark in the" Iron Man " films is at least partly based on Musk. Musk even had a role in" Iron Man 2."

At the end of 2015, SpaceX made 24 launches on missions such as resupplying the International Space Station, setting many records along the way. In 2016, SpaceX's Falcon 9 made the first successful ocean landing of a reusable orbital rocket.

FalconHeavy, the successor to Falcon 9 and the most powerful rocket SpaceX has ever built, completed a successful first launch in February 2018. FalconHeavy carried a unique payload: a dummy dubbed" Starman " and Musk's personal cherry-red Teslaroadster, which was launched toward Mars orbit.

In late 2015, Musk founded OpenAI, a nonprofit dedicated to researching artificial intelligence and ensuring it doesn't destroy humanity. Musk expressed concern that the better AI race could spark a third World War.More recently, Musk announced he was leaving the OpenAI board in February 2018 to avoid any possible conflict of interest with Tesla, which has been stepping up to artificial intelligence for self-driving car technology.

Musk founded another company in 2017: Neuralink, which is trying to make devices that can be implanted in the human brain.

Musk had some trouble in 2018 when he sent a tweet informing him that he was considering taking Tesla private at $ 420 a share and had already secured funding. Just days later, the SEC subpoenaed Tesla about the company's plans to go private and Musk's comments.

By September, the SEC had formally filed a lawsuit accusing Musk of making "false and misleading statements." Musk agreed with the SEC, forcing both he and Tesla to pay $ 20 million in fines and Musk to agree to step down as chairman of the board. In October, Tesla was required to appoint a committee to oversee communications.

In November 2019, Musk released a new Tesla vehicle: Tesla's first and much anticipated pickup truck, Cybertruck. Since opening, Musk has been seen hovering in the truck several times, including on a night out with Grimes at Nobu.

Tesla Cybertruck

Grimes detonated the bombshell by posting a photo of herself in January 2020 where she appeared pregnant. The musician later confirmed she was expecting a baby with Musk.

Musk has been outspoken about the coronavirus crisis in the US since early March, the first time he tweeted that panic over the virus was "stupid.""

Musk said that although he has a significant real estate portfolio, he "will not own a home" and will sell almost all of his physical possessions. He has since reportedly sold many of his properties in California.

On May 4, Grimes gave birth to a baby boy, whom the couple named X Æ a-XiiMusk, or "X Ash a-12 Musk."

SpaceX's 2020 marked two major turning points: the first, in May, SpaceX partnered with NASA to complete the first astronaut launch into space. Then, in November, SpaceX completed its first "operational" human spaceflight, sending four astronauts to the International Space Station for a six-month stay.

Elon Musk celebrates after the launch of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and Crew Dragon spacecraft on NASA's SpaceX Demo-2 mission from NASA's Kennedy Space Center to the International Space Station on May 30, 2020.

Tesla has had a good year, too: it joined the S&P 500 in December, which sent its shares soaring. Now, the company has a market capitalization of over $ 660 billion.

Now, thanks to Tesla's stock surge in 2020, Musk is the world's second-richest person with a net fortune of $ 184 billion. Musk's wealth has also surpassed Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates.Now, he's the second richest, after only Jeff Bezos.

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