What is Elon Musk’s background? Who is he really?

Today, we are interested in the entirety of his journey. The reason ? His stunning and rapid success in the world of entrepreneurship has drawn comparisons with other visionary businessmen, such as Steve Jobs, Howard Hughes, Henry Ford and Bill Gates. Is it true ? We will answer this question by providing you a complete biography of Elon Musk.

After a childhood that he himself considers difficult, Elon Musk has developed a strong taste for hard work (he is known to work up to 80 to 120 hours a week). It has rather served him since to date, his fortune is estimated at 151 billion dollars. He is right behind Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon.

Let’s take a closer look at the life of this unique man who started a series of companies that have changed many sectors. Note that the sources for writing this article are numbered and colored green. You will find them right next to the information we give you.

Childhood and education

His passion for technology comes from his desire to escape…

Elon Reeve Musk was born in 1971 in Pretoria., one of the three capitals of South Africa. Her father was an engineer, and her mother a model and nutritionist. He is the eldest of three children, all of whom are high achievers: His brother, Kimbal Musk, is a venture capitalist and an environmentalist. He also owns a chain of restaurants. Her sister, Tosca Musk, is a multi-award winning producer and director as her IMDB page indicates.

After his parents separated in the 1980s, Musk lived mostly with his father.

He will later say of this man that he is “a hateful human being he has done almost every bad thing you can think of” (1).

“I had a terrible upbringing. I had a lot of adversity growing up. One thing that worries me about my kids is that they don’t face adversity enough.”Musk would say years later.

A complicated childhood?

By his own admission, Musk describes himself as a bookworm and kind of nerd : he voraciously read everything that was within his reach. He had no limits and went from encyclopedia to comic book in the blink of an eye.

But Musk’s strong intellectual aptitude did him a disservice as a child. He found few friends within his school. He was even rejected and harassed by some of his comrades…

Musk attended English-language private Waterkloof House Preparatory School – he started a year earlier – and later graduated from Pretoria Boys High School. Those years were lonely and brutal, according to his statements in the press.

“For a number of years, there was no respite. At school I was chased by gangs trying to beat me up, and then I came home, and it was just awful there too” (2).

First achievements

Commodore VIC-20, the first computer he used

Elon Musk has always been looking for a way to escape and forget about his life. For this, he quickly became interested in technology. At the age of 10, he became familiar with programming thanks to the Commodore VIC-20, an inexpensive home computer. In a short time, he developed programming skills and created from scratch Blastar, a video game in the style of Space Invaders. He sold the game’s BASIC code to a magazine called PC and Office Technology for $500. (3).

Musk’s college years

Photo by Queen’s University of Kingston

At 17, Musk moved to Canada. If he made the choice not to stay in South Africa, it is in particular for avoid being conscripted into the South African Armywhose main mission, at the end of the 1980s, was to uphold apartheid. He would later obtain Canadian citizenship through his mother.

After emigrating to Canada, Musk enrolled at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. It was there that he met Justine Wilson, an aspiring writer. They would marry and have five sons together, twins and triplets, before divorcing in 2008.

Entry into the United States

Interview during a TEDX

After two years at Queen’s University, Musk joined the University of Pennsylvania. He specializes in two disciplines, but he doesn’t just work. He and another student bought a 10-bedroom fraternity house, which they used as a makeshift nightclub. (14). Already, at that time, he was known to be a troublemaker…

Next, Musk will graduate with a bachelor’s degree in physics and a bachelor’s degree in economics from the Wharton School. Both streams are indicative of the direction that Musk’s career would later take, but it was physics that stood out the most.

“Physics is a good framework for reflection”he will say later.

“You have to bring things back to their fundamental truths and reason from there”

Notable achievements

Musk was 24 when he moved to California to pursue a doctorate in applied physics at Stanford University. But, with the explosion of the internet and the rise of Silicon Valley, Musk has entrepreneurial visions floating around in his head. He left the PhD program after just two days and started creating hit boxes.


In 1995, with $28,000 and his younger brother Kimbal by his side, Musk started Zip2, a web-based software company that would help newspapers develop online city guides. In 1999, Zip2 was acquired by Compaq’s web search engine AltaVista for a staggering $340 million.

Musk used the money from the Zip2 takeover to create X.com, which he intended to shape for the future of banking.

X.com was merged with a money transfer company called Confinity, and the resulting company became known as PayPal.

Musk was then ousted from the company before it was bought by eBay for $1.5 billion.

You’re here

First of all, he brought funds – about 70 million dollars. Then, in 2004, Musk joined engineers Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning to help run Tesla Motors, where Musk played a key role in designing the Tesla Roadster, an electric car.

Although after Eberhard was ousted from the company in 2007, following a series of disagreements, Musk took over management control as CEO and product architect. Under his leadership, Tesla became one of the most popular and coveted automotive brands in the world.

In addition to the production of electric vehicles, Tesla maintains a strong presence in the solar energy sector, thanks to the acquisition of SolarCity.

Founded in 2006, this clean energy service company currently produces two rechargeable solar batteries, mainly used for stationary energy storage purposes.

The smaller Powerwall was developed for home backup power and off-grid use, while the larger Powerpack is intended for commercial or on-grid use.


Musk used much of the proceeds from the PayPal sale to found Space Exploration Technologies Corporation, better known as SpaceX, an interstellar travel company. By his own account, Musk spent $100 million to found SpaceX in 2002.

With SpaceX, Musk landed several prestigious contracts with NASA and the United States Air Force to design rockets and perform military missions. Musk has announced plans to send an astronaut to Mars by 2025 as part of a collaboration with NASA.

Personal eccentricities and polemics

On September 7, 2018, Musk smoked marijuana while being interviewed for a podcast. This news brought down the action of TESLA which was already in very bad shape due in particular to a lawsuit brought by shareholders against Musk.

During his May 8, 2021 appearance on Saturday Night Live, Musk revealed he has Asperger’s syndrome, a mild form of autism spectrum disorder. “In fact, I am making history tonight as the first person with Asperger’s Syndrome to host SNL. Or at least the first person to admit it”did he declare.

Who is Elon Musk’s current wife?

Claire Elise Boucher

The entrepreneur has had two wives but is not currently married. Since 2018, he has been in a relationship with Canadian singer-songwriter Claire Elise Boucher, known professionally as Grimes, with whom he has a son.

What is Elon Musk’s fortune?

Elon Musk’s net worth is around $151 billion, as of 2022. He is the second richest person on the planet on Forbes’ list of global billionaires.

Report in French and biography on the real “Iron Man”

The VIDOC channel on the Youtube platform has a very good documentary on this genius businessman. For almost an hour, the report offers us the crazy story of Elon Musk, this Tech troublemaker who keeps talking about him…

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