One of the world’s most brilliant men was born on a summer day on June 28, 1971, in Pretoria, South Africa. His name is Elon Musk, his parents are Maye and Errol Musk, Elon’s mother was a famous Canadian model who worked jobs for Covergirl and other famous magazines. His father was from South Africa where he is a very wealthy engineer, Elon, and his family continued to live in South Africa until he was 17 years old. When he was 10 his mother and father got divorced but stayed in South Africa so the kids would not have to move (Editors, The Biography).
Elon Musk is known around the world, he is a famous inventor and scientist that currently owns and operates one of the world’s largest tech companies. However, Elon’s rise to fame and fortune did not come easy, in an interview with the New York Times, Elon told the reporter that he had an excruciating childhood and was bullied constantly in school for his “bookish” demeanor. After the divorce of his parents, his father became emotionally abusive to Elon and his two siblings, according to Elon his father would take him and his brother to sit in complete silence for four hours and listen to his father teach them about something. In the interview, Elon goes into greater depth on his experiences with bullies saying that “They got my best [expletive] friend to lure me out of hiding so they could beat me up. And that [expletive] hurt. For some reason, they decided that I was it, and they were going to go after me nonstop. That’s what made growing up difficult. For a number of years, there was no respite. You get chased around by gangs at school who tried to beat the [expletive] out of me, and then I’d come home, and it would just be awful there as well (Maya Kosoff, Business Insider).” He would continue to take this sort of abuse until he was around 15 years old when an unexpected growth spurt caused him to take an interest in karate and judo which backed off the bullies at home and his school.
Despite his troubled youth he did not let that stop him, he had an idea at a young age to make a quick buck, Elon along with his brother Kimbal went around making handmade chocolate Easter eggs to sell to the rich people in his neighborhood. He reported selling them to customers for 20 times the cost of making them! His schemes didn’t stop there, while his parents were out of the house he would build his own homemade explosives and rocket ships! Elon stated that the explosives he was making were powerful enough to kill him! His next mission was to correctly code his own video game, he finished the project at twelve years old and sold the game for 500$, the game was his own version of “Space Invaders” as the game’s mission was to destroy alien space ships before they destroyed you. Before moving to Canada as a teenager he had one last idea before he left Africa, he and his brother tried to open and run their own arcade center across from their local high school. They got signed leases from the city and the only thing they needed was a parent signature because of being underage. However, their father reportedly “flipped out” over his son’s idea and would not sign the papers to open up their own store ( Zameena Mejia, CNBC).
Elon saved up enough money and moved himself to Canada at the age of 17 to get a head start on college and his studies. His life in the new world started off rocky, he said for the beginning parts of his college career in Ontario he was living off one dollar a day, spending his money at the grocery store on groceries in bulk, constantly living off oranges and hotdogs. While in Canada he attended the University of Queens, while enrolled in classes he worked on gaining his Canadian citizenship in part because he believed when he achieved this it would be easier to gain his American citizenship after college. Three years later he moved to America to attend college at the University of Pennsylvania, He graduated there with a degree in economics and physics. His college education did not end there however, he transferred to the University of Stanford in California to obtain a master’s degree in energy physics. However his visit to the University was cut short by him dropping out of the university two days after enrolling to start his new company, “Zip 2.” Seven years after the release of his new company Musk finally earned his American citizenship (Editors, The Biography).
His first successful company, “Zip 2” was a company that was started by Musk and his brother to help tourists and other people know the city better, this was an online program that would build a city guild and help people get ideas on what to do with their day. It grew popular fast with the New York Times and Chicago Tribune, 4 years after the release of “Zip 2” Musk and his brother sold the company to Compaq Computer Corporation for $307 million in straight cash, along with $34 million in stock. In the same year that he sold his city tourism planning website, he launched a very famous program called PayPal, however in the begging, it was under a different name, X.com a year later this company changed its name to Pay Pal and helped skyrocket Elon’s net worth to over a billion dollars! eBay bought PayPal in 2002 for 1.5 billion dollars in stock. Musk, continuing his streak of starting big companies in the same year he sold another, started his new space exploration company, Space X. Elon had a goal to make a space travel commercial, his dream was to make traveling to space just like flying from New York to California. In 2012 Elon did the impossible when Space X sent the world’s first unmanned rocket to the International Space Station with 1,000 pounds of supplies. Space X continued to improve and make more improvements and technological achievements. While busting through the space world Musk was working on a side project in Tesla Motors, the goal of this company is to provide affordable all-electric luxury cars. The company has improved beyond just cars, producing solar panels, batteries, and other products. Musk has his hand in all things Tesla with him overseeing the product development, engineering, and design of every new product. This company skyrocketed when in 2017 it announced that it passed General Motors as the country’s most valuable car manufacturer (Editors, The Biography).
Elon added another job to his plate in 2016 when newly elected President Donald Trump announced that Musk would be joining his team as a strategist. However, this was short-lived after Musk stepped down from his post on June 1st, 2017.
Elon’s family life has been shaky from his childhood, with divorced parents and an abusive father he hasn’t exactly had the best situation to gain influence from. He has been married twice and with his first wife he had 6 children, unfortunately, his first son died at 10 weeks old from sudden infant death syndrome. He’s married again to the same woman in 2012 but this marriage ended again with their divorce in 2016 (Editors, The Biography).
Musk has also started his own nonprofit foundation to help explore the “boundless potential of space exploration” this foundation also helps find renewable and clean energy sources (Editors, The Biography).
All in all Elon Musk is a business typhoon who is constantly innovating and churning out new products that will help benefit the people of the world, regarded as a good man and one of the smarter men in history, Elon is truly a Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Edison mind who will continue to influence and inspire future generations. People and other physicists will be able to study his research as he makes most of it widely available for people to study on their own and form their own hypotheses.