Since he was a child, Elon Musk has been doing some really impressive stuff. To describe Musk as a visionary would simply be an understatement. Many people (especially the Redditors on r/wallstreetbets) are huge fans of Elon, but it can be difficult to map his life, let alone his success. As with both magnates and tech visionaries, the easiest way to get the full picture is to start at the beginning.
Elon Musk: the 70s through 90s
June 18, 1971:
Elon Musk’s legacy begins when he’s born in Pretoria, South Africa.
At just 10 years old, Musk begins teaching himself computer programming.
Two years after his quest to master programming, Musk creates a video game written in BASIC called “Blastar”. He sells it to a company for $500.
1988 – 1989:
At the start of his adulthood, he dodges the mandatory South African Military Service by moving to Canada where he studies at Queen’s University.
Wanting to pursue the American Dream, Musk transfers to the University of Pennsylvania and studies both Physics and Economics.
After receiving his two Bachelor’s degrees, Musk co-founds and codes a software called Zip2 with his brother Kumbal.
Musk sells Zip2 to Compaq for $307 million and gets a 7% cut leaving him with $22 million.
Later in 1999:
Looking to start the next big thing, Elon creates an online bank named X.com
The New Millenium
X.com proves to be successful when it merges with competitor Confinity. The two ultimately form PayPal, and Musk is designated as CEO of the company.
Elon marries his first wife, Justine Wilson; however, due to a disagreement on how to code the online bank, his honeymoon goes sour when he gets removed from his CEO position at PayPal.
Looking for his next endeavor, Musk discovers his interest in rockets. He conceptualizes the grandiose Mars Oasis, a project that involves putting a greenhouse on our sister planet. His first step was to look into missiles, so he travels to Moscow, Russia to explore intercontinental ballistic missiles.
Following through with his rocket ship fascination, Musk makes plans to buy the ICBMs but ultimately thinks they’re too expensive.
After his excursion to Russia, Elon forms Space Exploration Technologies (aka SpaceX) with the hopes of developing affordable rockets that will be used to advance rocket technologies and explore space. Musk assumes the CEO and CTO positions.
PayPal gets purchased by eBay for a whopping $1.5 billion in stock. As a result, Musk receives $165 million.
Musk joins Tesla Inc. as the Chairman on the Board of Directors after he leads the Series A investments.
Later in 2004:
Musk and his wife Wilson give birth to twin boys through IVF.
2006 is a busy, but successful, year for Musk. SpaceX finds success after earning several contracts with NASA to deliver cargo to the International Space Station – this was the start of the Falcon-9 project. Later, he begins SolarCity with two of his cousins. Towards the end of the year, his wife gives birth to triplet boys via IVF.
SpaceX attempts their first rocket launch but fails.
SpaceX attempts their second rocket launch and fails again.
Musk and Wilson separate and share custody of their five children. SpaceX attempts their third launch, but they fail and destroy several satellites in its demise.
Later in 2008:
As SpaceX and Tesla are running out of money, Musk steps up to become CEO of Tesla, Inc. In a last-ditch effort, SpaceX launches a rocket for the fourth time and finally succeeds. Just barely escaping bankruptcy, SpaceX is awarded a $1.6 billion contract with NASA. Tesla also receives funding just moments before it goes broke.
2010 to Present
Tesla launches its IPO at $17 per share and closes the day at $23.89 – a 40.53% increase.
Later in 2010:
Musk marries actress Talulah Riley after two years of dating.
Elon Musk announces his biggest plan thus far: to send humans to Mars. He intends on accomplishing this goal by 2031. Additionally, SpaceX unveils a revolutionary concept: reusing rockets to make space travel cheaper.
Musk and Riley divorce.
SpaceX makes great progress as Dragon docks with the ISS.
Tesla begins shipping out their Model S vehicles at $75,000.
Later in 2012:
SolarCity and Tesla come together in an attempt to stop global warming by using electric car batteries instead of energy-consuming rooftop solar panels.
Musk and Riley remarry.
Once again, Musk has a new groundbreaking project. He reveals his plans and designs for Hyperloop, a high-speed underground transportation system.
Elon Musk and the SpaceX team attempt to land (from orbit) a rocket onto a ship.
The SpaceX team reaches a milestone for reusing rockets when they successfully land a rocket from orbit. Musk starts a new project, with others, termed OpenAI that aims to advance artificial intelligence for the world’s benefit.
Tesla, Inc. acquires SolarCity and becomes a subsidiary. Musk co-founds yet another brilliant company called Neuralink, whose goal is to connect the human brain and artificial intelligence. Elon’s goal of colonizing Mars progresses as he releases details of the architecture.
Elon Musk starts another company that would support his Hyperloop project: The Boring Company. Its main purpose is to dig tunnels.
After forming PayPal, X.com was essentially dissolved; however, Musk purchases the domain from PayPal for an undisclosed amount citing that it has sentimental value.
Musk and Riley divorce for the second time.
Musk decides to leave the board of OpenAI due to potential conflicts that may arise while he operates Tesla, Inc. Elon also launches a Tesla Roadster into space via a SpaceX rocket.
The Boring Company sells 20,000 flamethrowers cleverly named “Not a Flamethrower.”
Elon Musk begins dating Grimes, a Canadian singer/songwriter.
Shortly after the Thai soccer team gets trapped in the Tham Luang cave system, Musk attempts to save the day by designing a mini-submarine that ultimately went unused.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission charges Musk after he posts a tweet falsely claiming that Tesla will go private at $420. As a result, Elon has to step down from his chair position and pay a fine of $20 million. Additionally, the visionary was seen on the “Joe Rogan Experience” smoking a blunt.
Elon and his foundation donate $480,000 to install new water filtration systems in Flint, Michigan schools.
The Tesla Cybertruck is revealed, leaving many Elon fans in awe and many more in confusion, especially when the unbreakable windows break during a demonstration.
Musk tweets out “Woah … the stock is so high lol” as TSLA trades above $420 for the first time.
Musk makes waves in social media when he and Grimes’ son, X Æ A-XII, was born. Later in the month, Tesla and NASA pair up for a historic launch of astronauts to the ISS.
With a net worth just shy of $130 billion, Elon Musk dethrones Bill Gates for the title of the second richest person in the world. A dethronement that will likely only go back and forth like an east vs. west coast rap battle.