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Spectacular Journey Of Elon Musk: From A South African Schoolboy To The World’s Richest Man

Who”s Elon Musk?

Elon Musk is a 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. Musk had a keen interest in computing and taught himself computer programming.

Although, Musk was badly bullied during his school days and was even admitted to hospital for two weeks after some bullied him so badly that they threw him downstairs. However, the US proved to be the land of opportunity for Musk – now the richest man in the world.

Birth and education

Musk was born in 1971 in Pretoria, South Africa. His parents divorced before he was 10. Musk’s mother was a model. His father was an electromechanical engineer and property developer. Mr. Elon Musk collected degrees from a host of universities, including the University of Pennsylvania, while holding down internships in Silicon Valley. He received a bachelor’s degree in physics and economics in 1997 at the  University of Pennsylvania.

Eventually, he was accepted for the Ph.D. program at California’s prestigious Stanford University. He dropped out after two days in favor of the booming world of internet startups.

Business Ventures

Musk’s business skills started disseminating right from his young age. At age 12 he created a video game and sold it to a computer magazine. The first of his remarkable business ventures was a software firm called Zip2. It was founded with his brother Kimbal. However, it took time to succeed. They started it in 1995. He got $22m for his stake when the company was sold to the computing firm Compaq in 1999. 

PayPal proved an undisputed success at the beginning of Musk’s career. He had founded a digital financial services business called X.com in 1999, which merged with the company that owned the fledgling payments processing business. X.com is an online bank. The company became a world leader and eBay paid $1.5bn in stock for it in 2002, a deal that was worth $165m to Musk.

Musk’s fascination with space led him to invest about $100m of his rapidly expanding wealth in exploring the cosmos. He founded SpaceX in 2002 and has ambitions to build a colony on Mars within a few decades.

Meanwhile, he is keen on developing cheap and reusable spacecraft, enjoying considerable success. SpaceX has now become the first private company to put a person into orbit by its 2020 space venture.

Tesla eventually became an undoubted business success story of Musk’s life. Elon Musk contributed most of the funding to the company. He has served as CEO since 2008. According to Musk, the purpose of Tesla is to help expedite the move to sustainable transport and energy, obtained through electric vehicles and solar power.

Musk’s strategic vision has helped propel Tesla from a niche specialist in electric vehicles to a stock market giant valued at more than $600bn. Founded in July 2003 as Tesla Motors, the company’s name is a tribute to inventor and electrical engineer Nikola Tesla.

Much of that growth has been recent. It soared to the current valuation within a few months of becoming the world’s most valuable carmaker at $205bn. Musk’s share in Tesla is what has propelled him to the top of the ranking of the world’s richest people.

The richest person in the world, with a net worth of more than $185 b

The recent increase in Tesla’s share price pushed Musk past Jeff Bezos, who had been the richest person since 2017 and is currently worth about $184 billion. Elon Musk just became the richest person in the world, with a net worth of more than $185 billion, according to CNBC calculations.

Tesla’s rocketing share price — which has increased more than ninefold over the past year — and his generous pay package have added more than $150 billion to his net worth.

How do you see Elon Musk’s tireless journey from a schoolboy to the world’s richest entrepreneur? Let us know in the comment section

About Noshin Bashir

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