logo logo

Elon Musk

Elon Musk is a South African born Canadian-American engineer, business magnate, investor, and inventor. He founded SpaceX, Tesla Motors and PayPal. He is currently the CEO & CTO of SpaceX and CEO & Chief Product Architect of Tesla Motors.

Background

  • Ethnicity: His mother is of Canadian-American ancestor and his father is South African.

  • Musk was born in Pretoria, Transvaal, South Africa, the son of Maye, a model from Regina, Canada;and Errol Musk, a South African-born electromechanical engineer. He has a younger brother, Kimbal (born 1972), and a younger sister, Tosca (born 1974).His paternal grandmother was British, and he also has Pennsylvania Dutch ancestry.After his parents divorced in 1980, Musk lived mostly with his father in locations in South Africa.

  • Education

    • Elon Musk purchased his first computer at age 10. He taught himself how to program, and when he was 12 he made his first software sale—of a game he created called Blastar.Musk was initially educated at private schools, attending the English-speaking Waterkloof House Preparatory School. Musk later graduated from Pretoria Boys High School and moved to Canada in June 1989, just before his 18th birthday.

    Career

    • Musk bought his first computer at age 10 and taught himself how to program; by the age of 12 he sold his first commercial software for about $500, a space game called Blastar.

      After matriculating at Pretoria Boys High School he left home in 1988 at the age of 17, without his parents' support and in part because of the prospect of compulsory service in the South African military: "I don't have an issue with serving in the military per se, but serving in the South African army suppressing black people just didn't seem like a really good way to spend time". He wanted to move to the US, saying: "It is where great things are possible".

      In 1992, after spending two years at Queen's University, Elon left Canada, pursuing business and physics at the University of Pennsylvania on a full scholarship. From the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School, he received an undergraduate degree, and stayed on another year to finish a second bachelor's degree in physics. His undergraduate degrees behind him, and drawing inspiration from innovators such as Thomas Edison and Nikola Tesla, Musk then considered three areas he wanted to get into that were "important problems that would most affect the future of humanity", as he said later, "One was the Internet, one was clean energy, and one was space".

      Musk is a co-founder of X.com, Zip2, Tesla Motors and SpaceX.

    Politics

    In his own words: "I'm somewhere in the middle, socially liberal and fiscally conservative."

    Party affiliation: half Democrat, half Republican

    Religion

    When asked about his views on the "destiny" and grandness of the universe—presumably an allusion to his religious beliefs—Musk responded:

    Do I think that there's some sort of master intelligence architecting all of this stuff? I think probably not because then you have to say: "Where does the master intelligence come from?" So it sort of begs the question. So I think really you can explain this with the fundamental laws of physics. You know its complex phenomenon from simple elements.

    Denomination: Atheist

    Views

    Although Musk believes "there is a good chance that there is simple life on other planets", he "questions whether there is other intelligent life in the known universe". Musk later clarified his "hope that there is other intelligent life in the known universe", and stated that it is "probably more likely than not, but that's a complete guess."

    Additionally, Musk has considered the simulation hypothesis as a potential solution to the Fermi paradox:

    The absence of any noticeable life may be an argument in favour of us being in a simulation.... Like when you're playing an adventure game, and you can see the stars in the background, but you can't ever get there. If it's not a simulation, then maybe we're in a lab and there's some advanced alien civilization that's just watching how we develop, out of curiosity, like mould in a petri dish.... If you look at our current technology level, something strange has to happen to civilizations, and I mean strange in a bad way.... And it could be that there are a whole lot of dead, one-planet civilizations.

    Membership

    • IEEE Honorary Membership
      2015 - 2016

    Personality

    Elon Musk is impatient and demanding and doesn't accept that problems can't be solved.

    [With first principles] you boil things down to the most fundamental truths … and then reason up from there."

    Interests

    aviation, sport cars, physics, space

    Connections

    • Musk met his first wife, Canadian author Justine Musk (née Wilson), while both were students at Ontario's Queen's University. They married in 2000 and separated in 2008, after having six sons. Their first son, Nevada Alexander Musk, died of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) at the age of 10 weeks.They later had five sons through in vitro fertilization; twins, Griffin and Xavier, in 2004; followed by triplets Damian, Saxon and Kai in 2006; of whom they share custody.Following their divorce in 2008, Justine Musk gave an interview describing her marriage with Musk in Marie Claire magazine, describing herself as "a starter wife".

      In 2008, Musk began dating English actress Talulah Riley, and in 2010, the couple married. In January 2012, Musk announced that he had recently ended his four-year relationship with Riley,tweeting to Riley, "It was an amazing four years. I will love you forever. You will make someone very happy one day."However, in July 2013, Musk and Riley remarried. In December 2014, Musk filed for a second divorce from Riley; however the action was withdrawn.
    • former spouse: Justine Musk - Canada - writer
    • former spouse: Talulah Riley - United States - actress
    • Friend: Adeo Ressi - Entrepreneur and investor
      Adeo Ressi is an American entrepreneur and investor who is best known as the founder and CEO of TheFunded and The Founder Institute. He has been a fixture in the Silicon Valley since creating TheFunded in 2007. His previous business ventures include methodfive, Game Trust, and Total New York. He has also sat on the board of the X Prize Foundation.In 2014, he co-founded Expansive Ventures, a venture capital investment firm with Jon Soberg, a venture capitalist.
    Elon Musk
    See on larger map
    • 1988
      Pretoria Boys High School
    • 1990 - 1992
      Queen's University at Kingston
    • 1992 - 1994
      University of Pennsylvania
    • 1995 - 1999
      Co-founder, Zip2
    • 1999 - 2002
      co-founder, X.com and PayPal
    • 2001 - 2016
      chief executive officer, Space Exploration Technologies
    • 2003 - 2016
      Chief Executive Officer, Tesla Motors
    • 2006 - 2016
      co-founder, SolarCity
    • 2015 - present
      founder, OpenAI
    • show more ...

    Award

    Contributor  

    Alex Ramazanovich last changed 01/06/2012 view changes

    Anna Galkevich

    last changed 20/01/2016 view changes
    • General Info
    • Other interests
    • Relatives
      • Justine
      • Justine Musk
    Go
    up
    Edit Profile