Elon Musk: The extraordinary life of world's second-richest person

Edited By: Gravitas desk WION
New Delhi Published: Nov 25, 2020, 10:42 PM(IST)

Elon Musk Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

Many describe Elon Musk's journey as one defined by bold moves and one leap of faith after another. 

SpaceX and Tesla CEO Elon Musk mostly makes news for all the wrong reason, he once wiped off $14 billion from Tesla's value by tweeting that the stock price is too high. He was slapped with a $20 million lawsuit for cracking cannabis jokes.

Musk went on to say that his joke was worth it and that he was right before he called a British cave diver a pedo. The billionaire also got into controversy by protesting Wuhan virus lockdowns.

Elon Musk is making headlines again, but it has nothing to do with his controversies. Elon musk has become the world's second-richest person with a net worth of $128 billion.

However, not too long ago, the SpaceX and Tesla CEO was being written off and his ideas were called "outrageous". There is a fine line between being genius and insane, they said and that Musk tends to lean towards the latter.

Today, the 49-year-old has silenced his critics. He was not born with a silver spoon, if anything he was born in a broken family in Pretoria, South Africa and was severely bullied during his childhood but financial hardships did not keep Musk from taking career risks.

Many describe Elon Musk's journey as one defined by bold moves and one leap of faith after another. 

The first one was at age 17, when Musk moved to the United States against his father's wishes. He studied economics and physics at the University of Pennsylvania then enrolled himself at Standford for a PHD after spending just two days on campus, Musk decided to put everything at stake, again. He started his first company zip2 corporation. It was later sold to Compaq for $307 million and from the money he made Musk co-founded the first online payment company- x.com.

Within a year, that company merged with Paypal which then was sold to eBay for $1.5 billion. Musk used his sale money to fund Spacex in 2002 and Tesla in 2003. Both companies have been revolutionary in their own ways and have seen several ups and downs along with their CEO.

Musk has been broke, lived off loans from friends, mortgaged his properties and also seen days when his company's stocks shot through the roof but this story is not all rainbows and butterflies.

Elon Musk once called a British diver a "paedo guy". He also downplayed the Wuhan virus, threatened the state of California and even got a legislator to abuse him in public but you need to give credit where it's due while many of Musk's predictions may have failed, the ones that have come true have changed the world.

Tesla's electric cars have forced more automakers to switch to sustainable energy. Musk's ambitious hyperloop will be slashing travel time like never before. His solar city project is promising a greener future. 

SpaceX recently became the first private company to ferry NASA astronauts to the international space station(ISS).

On November 16, four NASA astronauts got on a Tesla car,  drove to the launch pad of Florida's Kennedy space station and then boarded the one-of-a-kind SpaceX Dragon capsule. 

As Musk's Falcon-9 rocket blasted off the message was loud and clear: no matter how outrageous your dreams are, you can always make them come true.

Read in App