5 things to know about Elon Musk

CEO of Tesla and second richest person in the world – behind Jeff Bezos – are two things that you might already know about entrepreneur and inventor Elon Musk. But there’s plenty you might not know about the business magnate and here at Business Leader, we’ve attempted to look at five of them.

If we missed something that you think is worth knowing about Elon Musk, please send an email to editor@businessleader.co.uk for a chance to be featured in this piece.

Created and sold a video game at age 12

Born in Praetoria, South Africa, to a South African father and Canadian mother, Musk taught himself computer programming at just 12.

Not long after, he created a video game named Blastar, which he then sold for $500 – not bad for someone yet to become a teenager.

Left South Africa as he didn’t want to support apartheid

Apartheid, a system of racial segregation, existed in South Africa from 1948 until the early 1990s. In 1988, Musk was apparently unwilling to support this system through compulsory military service, so after he had acquired a Canadian passport, he left the country for the US in search of better economic opportunities.

Divorced the same woman twice

Musk married English actress Talulah Riley in 2010, but the two divorced a couple of years later. They soon remarried in 2013, but divorced again in 2016, meaning the couple had married twice and divorced the same number of times in just six years.

However, this wasn’t Musk’s first marriage; he was married to Justine Wilson, a Canadian author, from 2000 to 2008.

Sold his first company for $307 million

In 1995, Musk enrolled at Stanford University to do a Ph.D in materials science, but dropped out of the program after just two days to launch Zip2, a company that provided maps and business directories to online newspapers.

Just four years later, Musk sold the company for $307 million. He then founded X.com in March 1999, the company that went on to be known as PayPal, which was sold to eBay via online auction for $1.5 billion in 2000.

Possibly the quickest accumulation of wealth in history

At the start of 2020, Musk was the 35th richest person in the world. However, in just 12 months, his net worth rose an incredible $150 billion, which caused him to overtake Jeff Bezos as the richest person in the world.

This is believed to be the quickest accumulation of wealth in history and the fact that he overtook Bezos in a year where Amazon share prices rose dramatically makes it all the more impressive.

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