Elon Musk, tech visionary in the spotlight

Maria J. Danford

House conquest: verify. Disrupt the automobile market: check out. Get over Twitter? Why not. From eccentric entrepreneur to the world’s richest person, Elon Musk likes to desire major — and these days, he is everywhere you search

Two decades just after banking his very first millions, the South-African born Musk past 12 months became the world’s richest particular person — wresting the title from Amazon’s Jeff Bezos — subsequent the meteoric rise of Tesla, his electric automaker launched in 2003.

The billionaire’s latest massive splash: a bid announced Thursday to take over Twitter, capping a rollercoaster fortnight of announcements and counter-bulletins — which Musk punctuated, characteristically, by gleefully firing tweets at the platform.

Just a week before, the 50-year-old was earning headlines as Tesla reduce the ribbon on a “gigafactory” the sizing of 100 soccer fields in Texas, exactly where the firm is now based mostly and Musk himself has relocated from California.

At the same time, his house transport firm SpaceX was breaking but yet another boundary as a lover in a three-way enterprise to send out the first thoroughly non-public mission to the Worldwide House Station.

Musk also would make news of a fewer flattering type: Tesla has faced a sequence of lawsuits alleging discrimination and harassment in opposition to Black personnel as well as sexual harassment.

In parallel with the whiplash-inducing stream of enterprise news, Musk’s controversy-courting persona — with an unrestrained Twitter model and penchant for residing by his possess rules in the private sphere much too — keeps the gossip push active.

It not long ago emerged Musk had experienced a second kid with his on-once again off-again husband or wife, the musician Grimes: a woman they named Exa Dark Sideræl Musk — while the mothers and fathers will mainly simply call her Y.

He is even expected to make an look — in human being or not — at the celeb defamation trial pitting Johnny Depp against his ex-wife Amber Read, who previously dated Musk.

But just one way or a different, Musk has develop into a single of the most ubiquitous figures of the era. So how did he get the place he is right now?

– To Mars… and over and above? –

Born in Pretoria, on June 28, 1971, the son of an engineer father and a Canadian-born design mom, Musk remaining South Africa in his late teenagers to attend Queen’s University in Ontario.

He transferred to the College of Pennsylvania right after two several years and attained bachelor’s degrees in physics and organization.

Following graduating from the prestigious Ivy League school, Musk deserted ideas to go after further experiments at Stanford College.

Instead, he dropped out and started out Zip2, a organization that built on the net publishing application for the media industry.

He banked his initially hundreds of thousands right before the age of 30 when he bought Zip2 to US pc maker Compaq for far more than $300 million in 1999.

Musk’s following organization, X.com, sooner or later merged with PayPal, the online payments business acquired by world-wide-web auction giant eBay for $1.5 billion in 2002.

Right after leaving PayPal, Musk embarked on a collection of ever a lot more ambitious ventures.

He founded SpaceX in 2002 — now serving as its main executive officer and main engineering officer — and turned the chairman of electric powered carmaker Tesla in 2004.

After some early crashes and in the vicinity of-misses, SpaceX perfected the artwork of landing booster engines on reliable ground and ocean platforms, rendering them reusable, and late final 12 months despatched 4 holidaymakers into area, on the initially at any time orbital mission with no specialist astronauts on board.

Musk’s jokingly-named The Boring Corporation is touting an extremely-quick “Hyperloop” rail transport system that would transportation persons at in close proximity to supersonic speeds.

And Musk has mentioned he desires to make humans an “interplanetary species” by creating a colony of individuals dwelling on the Mars.

To this conclusion, SpaceX is developing a prototype rocket, Starship, which it envisages carrying crew and cargo to the Moon, Mars and beyond — with Musk expressing he feels “assured” of an orbital test this calendar year.

Musk, who retains US, Canadian and South African citizenship, has been married and divorced 3 instances — once to the Canadian writer Justine Wilson and two times to actress Talulah Riley. He has seven children. An eighth little one died in infancy.

Forbes estimates Musk’s present internet value at $265 billion.

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