Known unknown facts about Elon Musk

by | Facts |

Known unknown facts about Elon Musk

We all know that Elon Musk is a billionaire person. He is also an engineer, inventor, CEO, and investor. Musk is a dreamer with a vision; he co-founded PayPal, Tesla Motors, SolarCity and SpaceX. But his ultimate goal is space exploration, and he believes that he can help colonize Mars.

Here are some other facts that you might not have known about Musk, and perhaps his past achievements will give insight into his visions for the future.

So, let's check out -

  • Elon Musk was born in Pretoria, South Africa, in 1971. His father was an engineer and his mother a nutritionist from Canada.

  • After Musk's parents divorced when he was eight years old, he lived with his mother, Maye, in various cities throughout South Africa.

  • Before Musk even became a teenager, he wrote code for a space-based video game called "Blastar." He was just 12 years old at the time and was still living in South Africa.

  • Though his code was not used in the game, Musk later published it in his biography. From there, Google software engineer Tomas Lloret created a version of the game available to play online.

  • His mother revealed that when he was a child, Musk used to stare into the distance while his parents were speaking to him. They believed he was hard of hearing and went so far as to have his adenoids removed. As it turns out, he was just daydreaming.

  • He dreamed of moving to the United States but wound up immigrating to Canada alone at 17 years old.

  • When Musk moved to Canada as a teenager, he didn't have a place to stay or much money in his pocket. He lived at a second cousin's house in a small town called Swift Current.

  • The future billionaire stayed with family members and lived on just $1 a day. He saved money by subsisting primarily on oranges and hot dogs.

  • He worked odd jobs before landing at Queen’s University in Ontario.

  • While he was a teenager in Canada, Musk befriended a woman named Christie Nicholson. She said in an interview that Musk once told her he spent a lot of time thinking about electric cars.

  • In 1992, Musk transferred from Queen's University in Ontario, Canada to the University of Pennsylvania to study physics and economics. At this time, he befriended future Silicon Valley entrepreneur Adeo Ressi. Eventually, the pair moved from their dorm to a large 10-bedroom house off campus, where they made extra money by turning their house into a makeshift club and party venue on the weekends.

Elon Musk

  • He earned an undergraduate degree in economics and stayed on another year to finish a second bachelor's degree in physics.

  • In 1995, Elon Musk headed to Stanford University in California to pursue a Ph.D. in energy physics. However, he only attended the school for two days before dropping out to start his first company, Zip2 Corporation, which provided online content publishing software for news organizations.

  • The company was later acquired in 1999 by Compaq's AltaVista division acquired Zip2 for $307 million in cash and $34 million in stock options.

  • By the age of 28, he was a multi-millionaire.

  • That same year, he started with $10 million dollars from the sale of Zip2. was a financial services and email payments company.

  • In 2000, Musk met his first wife, Justine Musk who is a Canadian author while they were both students at Queen's University.

  • In February 2001, changed its legal name to PayPal. In October 2002, PayPal was acquired by eBay for US$1.5 billion in stock. Before its sale, Musk, the company's largest shareholder, owned 11.7 percent of PayPal's shares.

  • In 2002, Musk founded his third company, Space Exploration Technologies Corporation, or SpaceX, with the goal of building spacecraft for commercial space travel.

  • Musk has attended the Burning Man festival in 2004 and says that he first thought up the idea for SolarCity during the festival.

  • In 2006, Elon Musk co-founded SolarCity, a photovoltaics products and services company with his cousin Lyndon River.

  • SpaceX was awarded a $1.6 billion NASA contract on 23 December 2008, for 12 flights of its Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon spacecraft to the International Space Station, replacing the Space Shuttle after it retired in 2011.

  • When asked who inspired him, Musk mentioned two unusual names. "Well, Kanye West obviously," he revealed. Musk also added Hollywood legend Fred Astaire to his list. "I do love Fred Astaire, he's amazing. If you haven't watched his movies, they're amazing."

  • Elon Musk is currently the CEO and Product Architect at Tesla, and he is credited with being a co-founder. However, he wasn't originally involved with the electric car company. Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning founded Tesla Motors in 2003.

  • Musk entered the picture in 2004 by investing $70 million into the startup. He assumed the role of chairman of the board of directors and helped to design the company's first electric car, the Tesla Roadster.

Elon Musk

  • The Roadster was modeled after the British Lotus Elise. Despite few setbacks in the vehicle's production, Musk took over as Tesla CEO in 2008.

  • In 2010 Musk was awarded the Gold Space Medal from the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale, the highest honor in the air and space world. Prior winners of this award include famous American astronauts Neil Armstrong and John Glenn.

  • In 2013, Musk bought the famous James Bond Lotus Esprit from the 1977 movie The Spy Who Loved Me for $997,000 at an auction in London.

  • But Elon Musk didn't buy the iconic piece of movie memorabilia merely for fun. Musk purchased the car, nicknamed Wet Nellie, for the purpose of turning it into a submarine.

  • The Model S is an amazing car designed by Musk’s car company, is the safest car ever made. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration awarded the Model S a safety score of 5.4 out of 5.

  • In 2015, he told Vogue, “South Africa was quite a violent place,”. “There was a level of violence growing up that wouldn’t be tolerated in any American school. It was like Lord of the Flies. There were a couple of gangs that were pretty evil, and they picked their victims and I was one of them.” He was once beaten so badly he ended up in hospital.

  • At school, he was bullied and thrown down the staircase.

  • Elon crashes his $1 million McLaren F1 soon after buying it!

  • Elon Musk is a workaholic by his own admission. Between all of his companies, Musk works between 80-100 hours a week. His 18-hour day doesn’t even include a lunch break. He eats his lunch every day while answering emails or taking meetings.

  • He is a father of 5 boys – 1 set of twins and 1 set of triplets.

  • He uses Twitter as his go to social media communication platform. Often tweeting at odd hours of the day.

  • As of 2018, Musk had a net worth of $21.3 billion, according to Forbes.

  • Musk's biography paints a picture of a person with an unbelievable drive and perhaps the intelligence to colonize the Red Planet in this lifetime.