Elon Musk, (born June 28, 1971, Pretoria South Africa), South African-born American entrepreneur who cofounded the electronic-payment firm Paypal and formed SpaceX maker of launch vehicles and spacecraft. He was also one of the first significant investors in, as well as chief executive officer of, the electric car manufacturer Tesla.

owner and CEO of Twitter Inc founder of The Boring Company ; co-founder of Neuralink and OpenAi; and president of the philanthropic Musk Foundation. With an estimated net worth of around $139 billion as of December 23, 2022, primarily from his ownership stakes in Tesla and SpaceX, Musk is the second-wealthiest person in the world, according to both the Bloomberg Billionaires Index and Forbes real-time billionaires list.

Early Life

Musk was born on June 28, 1971, in Pretoria, South Africa. As a child, Musk was so lost in his daydreams about inventions that his parents and doctors ordered a test to check his hearing.

At about the time of his parents’ divorce, when he was 10, Musk developed an interest in computers. He taught himself how to program, and when he was 12 he sold his first software: a game he created called Blastar.

In grade school, Musk was short, introverted and bookish. He was bullied until he was 15 and went through a growth spurt and learned how to defend himself with karate and wrestling.


Musk’s mother, Maye Musk is a Canadian model and the oldest woman to star in a Covergirl campaign. When Musk was growing up, she worked five jobs at one point to support her family.

Musk’s father, Errol Musk, is a wealthy South African engineer.

Musk spent his early childhood with his brother Kimbal and sister Tosca in South Africa. His parents divorced when he was 10.


At age 17, in 1989, Musk moved to Canada to attend Queen’s University and avoid mandatory service in the South African military. Musk obtained his Canadian citizenship that year, in part because he felt it would be easier to obtain American citizenship via that path.

In 1992, Musk left Canada to study business and physics at the University of Pennsylvania. He graduated with an undergraduate degree in economics and stayed for a second bachelor’s degree in physics.

After leaving Penn, Musk headed to Stanford University in California to pursue a PhD in energy physics. However, his move was timed perfectly with the Internet boom, and he dropped out of Stanford after just two days to become a part of it, launching his first company, Zip2 Corporation in 1995. Musk became a U.S. citizen in 2002.


Musk became involved with the electric cars venture as an early investor in 2004, ultimately contributing about $6.3 million, to begin with, and joined the team, including engineer Martin Eberhard, to help run a company then known as Tesla Motors. Following a series of disagreements, Eberhard was ousted in 2007, and an interim CEO was hired until Musk assumed control as CEO and product architect. Under his watch, Tesla has become the world’s most valuable automaker.


In 1995, with $15,000 and his younger brother Kimbal at his side, Musk started Zip2, a web software company that would help newspapers develop online city guides.1516

In 1999, Zip2 was acquired by Compaq Computer Corp. for $341 million.17 Musk used his Zip2 buyout money to create X.com, a fintech venture before that term was in wide circulation.

X.com merged with a money transfer firm called Confinity, and the resulting company came to be known as PayPal.18 Peter Thiel ousted Musk as PayPal CEO before eBay (EBAY)bought the payments company for $1.5 billion, but Musk still profited from the buyout via his 11.7% PayPal stake.1920“My proceeds from PayPal after tax were about $180 million,” Musk said in a 2018 interview. “$100 (million) of that went into SpaceX, $70 (million) into Tesla, and $10 (million) into SolarCity. And I literally had to borrow money for rent.”

Elon Musk is the father of 10 children, including a pair of twins and a set of triplets with his ex-wife Justine Wilson and a boy and girl with ex-girlfriend Grimes.