Elon Musk bio, family life, wealth, and controversies

Who is Elon Musk?

Elon Reeve Musk, now 51 years old, known as “Elon Musk,” is a visionary who is worked towards making life on earth sustainable.

He is an engineer, technology entrepreneur, industrial designer, and philanthropist awarded the Fellowship of the Royal Society (FRS) in 2018.

Elon Musk is a self-made billionaire who is famous as the CEO and chief engineer/designer of SpaceX, CEO and product architect of Tesla, Inc, and founder of The Boring Company.

He is also the co-founder of Neuralink and co-founder/initial co-chairman of OpenAI.

But before he acquired all these ventures and landed people on Mars, he had many stories that many of us do not know.

Let us understand what it took to be one of the biggest tycoons who has changed the world.

Elon Musk Biography
Elon Musk Biography

Quick facts

Full nameElon Reeve Musk
Birthday  June 28, 1971
Age51 years old
BirthplacePretoria, Transvaal, South Africa
NationalitySouth African (originally), Canadian, America
ParentsMaye Musk (Mother),
Errol Musk (Father)
SiblingsKimbal Musk,
Tosca Musk
SpouseJustine Wilson (2000-2008),
Talulah Riley (2010-2012, 2013-2016)
Current partnerGrimes (Claire Elise Boucher)
ChildrenFrom Justine Wilson
Deceased: Nevada Alexander Musk

From Grimes: X Æ A-XII

Height1.88 meter
Eye colorGreen
Hair colorBlack
EducationBachelors of Science degree in Physics – College of Arts and Sciences

Bachelors of Arts degree in economics – Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania

Queen’s University (1989-1992)

University of Pretoria

High school degree – Pretoria Boys High School

Bryanston High School

Waterkloof House Preparatory High School
OccupationEngineer, Industrial Engineer, Entrepreneur
Net worthUSD 186.8 Billion
HometownHillsborough, California, United States
TitlesFounder, CEO, Lead Designer – SpaceX

CEO, Product Architect – Tesla, Inc

Founder – The Boring Company, X.com (now PayPal)

Co-founder – Neuralink, OpenAI, Zip2Chairman – SolarCity

Favorite cereal                         Cinnamon Toast Crunch
Favorite moviesParasite (as of 2019)

Interesting Facts

1. The CEO of Tesla Motors, Elon Musk, was born in South Africa.

Elon was born in Pretoria, South Africa, and thus is originally South African. However, he also holds Canadian and American citizenship.

2. Elon Musk created a video game when he was only 12 years old.

Elon developed a video game named ‘Blastar’ when he was 12 years old and sold it for USD 500. It was a science fiction-inspired game that was similar to Space Invaders.

3. Elon Musk has six sons.

He is the father of six sons. He was a set of twins (Xavier and Griffin) and triplets (kai, Saxon and Damian) from his first ex-wife. Their first son, Nevada, died in 10 weeks due to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

He also has a son named X Æ A-12 Musk (pronounced x-ash-a-12) with singer Grimes. 

4. He has also starred in Hollywood movies and sitcoms.

Elon Musk has also made cameos in American sitcoms like Simpsons, South Park, and the Big Bang Theory. He has also made an appearance in Marvel’s Iron Man 2.

4. Musk is an X-Men fan.

Elon Musk loves X-Men. he named some of the robots of his Tesla facility after the X-Men superheroes, such as Xavier, Storm, Colossus, Iceman, and of course, Wolverine.

5. He dropped out of Stanford University in two days.

Musk earned a double bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania. Then, he moved to California to study Physics at Stanford. However, he dropped out after two days to establish a company with his brother.

Elon Musk childhood

On June 28, 1971, Elon Musk was born in Pretoria, Transvaal, South Africa, to Maye Musk and Errol Musk.

His mother was Canadian. She was a model and a dietitian, whereas; his father was South African and was an electromechanical engineer, pilot, and sailor.

Elon Musk father mother and wife
Elon Musk, Mother (Maye Musk) and Father (Errol Musk), along with his wife

He has two siblings: Kimbal Musk (1972) and a sister named Tosca Musk (1974).

After his parents divorced in 1980, he started living with his father, but he quickly regretted it and started living with his mother.

Now, he also has a half-sister and a brother.

Read More: James Francis Goble a genius

early life

Musk was an avid reader as a child. At the age of 10, he developed an interest in computing and taught himself about computer learning through a manual.

At the age of 12, he created a BASIC-based video game called ‘Blaster’ and sold it to P.C. and Office Technology Magazine for approximately USD 500.

Musk was sadly severely bullied as a kid.

He was once hospitalized after a group of boys pushed him down a flight of stairs.


He studied at Waterkloof House Preparatory School and Bryanston High School.

Elon completed his high schooling at Pretoria Boys High School.

After that, Elon wanted to move to the United States for his higher education since he believed America is where great things are.

His father wanted him to go to Pretoria College.

But, Elon went against him and instead obtained a Canadian passport through his Canadian mother and moved to Canada in June 1989.

Musk attended the University of Pretoria for five months while he was waiting for his Canadian documentation.

Then, he studied at Queen’s University from 1989 to 1992.

He moved to the USA to study economics and physics at the University of Pennsylvania and graduated in 1997 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics from Wharton.

He also pursued his Bachelor of Science degree in physics from the College of Arts and Science.

Musk was also accepted to a Ph.D. program in energy physics/material science at Stanford University in California. Instead, however, he opted to launch his first company, Zip2 Corporation.

Elon Musk internships

In 1994, Musk held internships in two companies at Silicon Valley: Pinnacle Research Institute and Palo Alto-based startup called Rocket Science Games.

Elon Musk

Elon Musk career

The Beginning: Zip2

Elon and his brother, Kimbal, started their own web software company called ‘Zip2’ in 1995.

They developed an online city guide that provided newspaper publishing companies like The New York Times and Chicago Tribune with maps, directions, yellow pages, and vector graphics mapping system.

In 1992, Compaq Computer Corporation bought Zip2 for USD 307 million in cash and USD 34 million in stock options, for which Elon Musk received USD 22 million for his 7 percent share.

X.com / Paypal

In 1999, Elon and Kimbal founded an online financial service and e-mail company called ‘X.com’ from the sale of Zip2.

A year later, the company merged with Confinity, which has a money-transfer service called PayPal.

In October 2002, PayPal was acquired by eBay for $1.5 billion in stock, of which Elon received USD 165 million.

Later, he purchased the domain ‘X.com’ from PayPal, considering that it has sentimental value. The amount wasn’t disclosed.


Elon Musk established his third venture, called ‘Space Exploration Technologies Corporation (SpaceX)’ in May 2002, after realizing that building a rocket was only 3 percent of the sales price of a rocket.

He is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of the company and has invested USD 100 million of his early fortune.

Located in Hawthrone, California, SpaceX was founded with a long-term goal of traveling through space and reducing the cost of human spaceflight by a factor of 10, and sending humans to Mars’s surface.

NASA has awarded SpaceX with the contract to handle the cargo transport for the International Space Station.

SpaceX has developed and manufactured space launch vehicles with a focus on advancing the state of rocket technology.  The company’s first launched vehicles were ‘Falcon 1’ and ‘Falcon 9‘ rockets. Its first spacecraft was the ‘Dragon.’

From 2011 onwards, SpaceX received funding from NASA’s Commercial Crew Development Program to develop the DragonZ crew capsule.

Recently, on May 30, 2020, SpaceX launched its first flight called Demo-Z, becoming the first private company to put a person into orbit and eventually duck a human-crewed spacecraft with the International Space Station (ISS).


Every automobile enthusiast is familiar with the brand name ‘Tesla.’ Elon Musk is the co-founder and product architect of Tesla, Inc (formerly Tesla Motors).

He is the longest-tenured CEO of any automotive manufacturer globally.

Tesla is famous for being a fully electric automobile company, which is considered better than a gasoline car.

It is also renowned for its sedan-class smooth design.

Under his reign, Tesla Motors has produced many vehicles models like:

  • Roadster– sports car
  • Model S – first electric sedan
  • Model 3
  • Semi-truck – Tesla Semi
  • Model Y and Roadster

Solar City

Solar City was initially capitalized by Elon Musk and then co-founded by his cousin Lyndon and Peter Rive in 2006.

Solar City became the second largest solar power systems provider in the United States by 2013. The underlying motivation for funding both Solar City and Tesla was to help combat global warming.

Now, Solar City is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Tesla.

The Boring Company

In 2017, Musk launched The Boring Company, a company devoted to boring building tunnels to reduce street traffic.

The company landed a USD 48.7 million contract from Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority to build an underground loop system to shuttle people around the Las Vegas Convention Centre.

Elon Musk innovation


Hyperloop is a concept presented by Musk, where high-speed rail transportation will be used for passenger and freight transportation. A joint team released the design from Tesla and SpaceX.

On July 20, 2017, Musk announced that he received the government’s verbal approval to build a hyperloop from New York City to Washington, DC, stopping in Philadelphia and Baltimore.

Open AI

OpenAI is a not-for-profit artificial intelligence (A.I.) research company that aims to develop artificial general intelligence in a way that is safe and beneficial to humanity.

In 2018, Musk left OpenAI to avoid possible future conflicts with his role as CEO of Tesla. Tesla also became involved with A.I. through Tesla Autopilot.

In 2017, Musk backed a venture called Neuralink. It intends to create devices that will consist of a microscopic chip connecting via Bluetooth to a Smartphone.

This tiny microchip will be implanted in the human brain, which will merge with the software. The company aims to make these microchips to cure serious brain diseases in the short term. 

The main goal of Neuralink is to enhance the mental and physical capabilities of a human being through artificial-technological means.


He invented Flamethrower at The Boring Company, and despite the warnings from the Home Office and the U.S. politicians, he sold 10,000 flamethrowers at USD 500 each.

Elon Musk music

Elon Musk released a rap track titled ‘RIP Harambe’ performed by Yung Jake and Cardine Polachele on SoundCloud under EmoG Records.

Elon Musk awards and recognitions

Elon Musk has been awarded and recognized for building a better and sustainable world for the future generation.

2006Global Green product design – for his design of Tesla Roadster.
2007Inc Magazine: Entrepreneur of the Year


Index Design Award – for the design of the Tesla Roadster.

2007/08American Institution of Aeronautics and Astronautics George Law Award
2008/09National Space Society: Von Braun Trophy
2010Listed as one of the 100 people who affected the world in 2010.


FAI Gold Space Medal for designing the first privately developed rocket to reach orbit.

Living Legend of Aviation by Kitty Hawk Foundation.

2011Listed as Forbes: America’s 20 Most Powerful CEOs 40 and Under


Heinlein Prize for Advances in Space Commercialization

2012Royal Aeronautical Society: Gold Medal
2013Fortune: Business Person of the Year – for SpaceX, SolarCity, and Tesla
2014President’s Award for Exploration and Technology of the Explorer’s Club
2015IEEE Honorary Membership
2016Business Insider: Top 10 Business Visionaries creating value for the world


21st on Forbes list of the world’s most powerful people

2017Oslo Business for Peace Award
2018Fellow  of the Royal Society (FRS) award
2019Awarded as the fifth class of the ‘Most Admirable Order of Dierkgunabhom’ for his contribution at Tham Luang Cave, Chiang Rai Province, Thailand
2019Starmus Festival’s Stephen Hawking Medal for Science Communication


CO-first Forbes list of the Most Innovative Leaders of 2019

Elon Musk net worth

Elon Musk has a net worth of USD 186.8 billion.

These are not just from his ownership from Tesla Motors, SpaceX, or his previous ventures like X.com.

He owns a house in California worth USD 17 million. He also has five properties for sale, which are of a total of USD 137 million which are located in Los Angeles. Two of these properties are in the prestigious celebrity neighborhood of Los Angeles called Bel-Air.

For an owner of an automobile company, he has a big collection of vintage and modern vehicles like:

  • BMW 320i : USD 1,400
  • Ford Model T : gifted
  • Lotus Esprit (from the James Bond movie: The Spy who love loved me):USD 997,000
  • Jaguar Series 1E – Type Roadster: USD 100,000 – USD 225,000
  • Hammam BMW M5: USD 203,325
  • Porsche 911 Turbo : USD 203,500
  • Audi Q7 : USD 54,800
  • Tesla Model Y: USD 52,990
  • Tesla Roadster: USD 250,000
  • Tesla Model X: USD 84,990
  • Tesla Model 3: USD 35,000
  • Tesla Model S (Long Range): USD 85,000
  • Cybertruck: USD 69,900

He also owns a private jet called Gulfstream G650ER, which cost him USD 70 million.

Elon Musk relationships, wives, and girlfriends

Elon Musk was first married in 2000 to Justine Wilson, who is a Canadian author.

They share five sons through In Vitro Fertilization (IVF): Twins named Griffin and Xavier born in 2004 and triplets named Kaii, Saxon, and Damian born in 2006.

Before the IVF babies, they had a son, Nevada Alexander Musk, who died at 10 weeks due to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

Elon and Justine separated in 2008 and now share the custody of all five sons.

After Wilson, Musk married English actress Talulah Riley in 2010.

Elon and Talulah’s marriage can be considered as dramatic, why you may ask– because soon after two years of marriage, they got divorced in 2012.

They remarried again in July 2013 and ended up divorcing in late 2016.

Musk also dated an American actress, Amber Heard. But they split in 2016 due to their busy schedules.

Currently, Musk is dating Canadian musician Grimes (born name Claire Elise Boucher).

Elon Musk with partner Grimes

They have dated for two years and have a son named ‘X Æ A-XII’ (pronounced ‘Ex Ash A Twelve), born on May 4, 2020.

Elon Musk controversy

For a famous entrepreneur like Elon Musk, people like him are like an open book that everyone reads and judges whether they understand or not.

So here are some of the controversies that Elon Musk has been a part of:

Anti -Public Transportation Controversy

In December 2017, at a Tesla event at the Neural Information Processing Systems Conference, Musk stated his hatred against public transport. Instead, it affirmed that people like individualized transport, which goes where you want and when you want

He also dismissed an audience member who said that public transportation in Japan functioned effectively.

Following this, he faced heavy criticisms from public and transit experts.

He faced backlashes from Urban Planning Expert Brent Tudenan, Urbanist and Journalist specializing in planning and transportation, Yonah Freemark, Jarret Walker, a known public transport expert and consultant from Portland.

Musk also faced criticism from Nobel laureate Paul Krugman.

  • Joe Rogan podcast appearance and cannabis scandal

Musk appeared in The Joe Rogan Experience podcast on September 6, 2018. In the two hours of the podcast, he sampled a single puff from a cigar consisting of tobacco laced with cannabis.

Musk said he doesn’t smoke weed and that it is not suitable for his productivity.

It still became a story about Musk’s instability. Right after that incident, Tesla’s stock dropped. In addition, it led to too many speculations about whether he could be unwelcome for the SpaceX contracts with the United States Air Force.

Musk addressed this incident in an interview with 60 Minutes by saying, “I do not smoke pot. As anybody who watched this podcast could tell, I have no idea how to smoke pot”.

  • Taking Tesla Private Controversy

On August 7, 2018, Musk tweeted, “Am considering taking Tesla private at USD 420”. After his announcement, the SEC (U.S Security and Exchange Commission) began enquiring about whether Musk has indeed secured the funding as claimed.

Several investors of Tesla filed lawsuits stating that Musk was trying to manipulate stock prices.

Musk called his moved to go private “the best path forward” and promised to create a special fund to help all current investors to remain on board.

After six days, he tweeted that he was working on a proposal to take Tesla private with Goldman Sachs and Silver Lake as financial advisors.

On the same day, Azealia Banks took to Instagram and wrote that Musk was under the influence of LSD when he tweeted his statements.

Since Banks was a guest at Musk’s home, she overheard Musk making phone calls to originate the funding he promised was already in place.

After this, Tesla’s outside directors retained two law firms to deal with the SEC inquiry and the CEO’s intention to take the company private.

On August 24, after meeting with the board, Musk announced that he would not be taking Tesla private since most of the directors preferred to keep it public.

On September 29, 2018, it was announced that Musk had to pay a USD 20 million fine and withdraw himself as chairman of Tesla for three years as part of an agreement with the SEC.

  • COVID-19 Controversy

Musk received criticism over his views and actions related to the COVID-19 pandemic. He stated that “the Coronavirus is dumb.”

He has additionally been criticized for his controversial tweets about the disease.

Elon Musk charity

Elon Musk may have a controversial life, but we must not forget that this billionaire has worked for the betterment of the world a lot.

He is the chairman of the Musk Foundation, which provides solar systems in disaster areas and has other goals. He is a well-known philanthropist who has been awarded for his contributions such as:

  • In 2010, the Musk foundation collaborated with Solar City and donated a 25kW solar power system to the South Bay Community Alliance’s hurricane response center in Coden, Alabama.
  • In 2011, Musk Foundation donated USD 250,000 to a solar power project in Soma, Japan, when a tsunami destroyed the city.
  • In July 2014, Musk donated USD 1 million to construct the Tesla Science Center at Wardenclyffe. He also pledged to build a Tesla Supercharger in the museum car park.
  • In 2015, he donated USD 10 million to the Future of Life Institute to run a global research program for keeping artificial intelligence beneficial to humanity.
  • He is also a trustee of the X Prize Foundation, which hosts a public competition to encourage technological development to benefit humanity.
  • He is also a signatory of The Giving Pledge.
  • In October 2018, Musk donated over USD 480,000 to help solve the ‘Flint Water Crisis.‘ This project has provided free and safe drinking water from the filtration system to approximately 30,000 children in all 12 schools in the area.
  • Musk is also a top donor for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).
  • In October 2019, he donated USD 1 million to #TeamTrees, which had a goal to plant 20 million trees. The YouTube community-led this project in collaboration with the Arbor Day Foundation.

Elon Musk social media

Elon Musk is active on Twitter as @elonmusk where he has over 35.9 million followers.

He doesn’t use any other social media accounts.


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