Elon Musk is an American entrepreneur, who rose to global prominence due to his successful venture as a co-founder of the spacecraft manufacturing firm SpaceX in 2002, the electric automotive company Tesla in 2003, the infrastructure and tunnel construction company The Boring Company in 2016, and the brain-computer interface machine development firm Neuralink in 2016. Aside from these successful businesses he helped build, he had the foresight to invest early on in several technological companies, which have also contributed to the increase of his net worth over the years. This 2022, amidst the pandemic, he went up from second place on the billionaire’s list, and was declared the richest man on earth.
- 1 Get to Know Elon Musk
- 2 Personal Life – his women and his children
- 3 Elon Musk’s net worth
Get to Know Elon Musk
People have described Elon Musk as a business leader, an innovator, an entrepreneur, and a huge social media influencer. However, few people were aware of what his life was about before he became popular and successful.
His childhood when his parents were still together
Elon Reeve Musk came from a wealthy and prominent family, who had South African, British, Pennsylvania Dutch, and Anglo-Canadian heritage. He was born on 28 June 1971, in Pretoria, South Africa. His Canadian mother Maye Haldeman Musk was raised in South Africa, and is a former model, a Miss South Africa finalist, and a dietician. His South African father Errol Musk, is an electromechanical engineer and a property developer, who for a time was a half-owner of an emerald mine located close to Lake Tanganyika in Zambia. His father was very much interested in politics, and was elected representative of the anti-apartheid Progressive Party in the Pretoria City Council. His parents were childhood neighbors and then became college sweethearts. He has two younger siblings – Kimbal born in 1972, and Tosca in 1974.
The years after his parents divorced
His parents divorced in 1980, and he chose to live with his father. At that time, he pitied his father and believed that he was going to be lonely, while his mother had his other siblings with her, however, after two years of living with him, Elon regretted his decision. It was around that time when he had his adenoids removed, because most people around him suspected that he was deaf. However, his mother told everyone that her son wasn’t deaf, but was just ‘listening in another world.’ There were times when he would go missing while the family was out shopping – initially they were worried about him, but later on, his mother became used to his habit of being in a trancelike state, reading in a secluded part of a bookstore.
Sold a video game code at 12 years old
Elon was quite different from most boys his age. At the age of 10, he became interested in computers and video games. He convinced his father to buy him a computer, as he’d already learned the intricacies of computer programming by just reading a manual. He created a video game called Blaster, which was sold for $500 to the PC and Office Technology magazine when he was 12 – Elon’s imagination and creativity were quite evident even back then. He had a photographic memory that never endeared him to other kids, because he developed a habit of correcting them. When he ran out of books to read, he began reading two different sets of encyclopedias.
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He was bullied for three years in school
Elon attended the Waterkloof House Preparatory School, then went to Bryanston High School, where he was bullied for three years; one time, a gang of students beat him up until he blacked out. His brother said that his face looked like he had been in the boxing ring because it was quite swollen and bloodied. Due to the bullying, his parents transferred him to Pretoria High School from where he matriculated without incident since the students there were more disciplined.
Elon had an estranged relationship with his father
Elon along with his siblings and even his mother didn’t like to talk about the patriarch of the Musk family. His mother said that nobody liked his father, and they avoided bringing him into any conversation as the stories were horrendous; she said that there were kids and grandkids involved so she didn’t want to elaborate. When Elon chose to be with his father after his parents divorced, he had a clearer picture of what kind of person his father was, and didn’t like it – it was his grandmother who made everything bearable. When Elon was asked about his childhood, he said, ‘It may sound good. It was not absent of good, but it was not a happy childhood. It was like misery.’ When he was pressed about his father, he shared that Errol wasn’t a happy man, and was good at making other lives miserable. For the sake of his half-sisters, he refrained from talking more about their father. People were curious about how bad his father was, because when Elon began having kids, he and his wife agreed that no matter what happened, their children would never meet their grandfather.
His college education
His family’s wealth gave him the luxury to travel around the globe. He realized that his geeky inclinations weren’t appreciated in his hometown, so America became his ultimate goal because he believed that it was the land of opportunity, where he knew that his dreams, however improbable at that time, could provide the perfect platform to make them a reality. When he told his father about his plans, he rejected them and even had him experience a taste of what it was to live in America – Errol made his son do all the house chores by letting go of the household help.
Elon acquired Canadian citizenship through his mother, and studied at Queen’s University in Ontario, but not before spending a year working odd jobs because the uncle with whom he was supposed to live with had already moved to the US. He had a difficult time adjusting to his new life there, and even accepted a job cleaning boilers.
Eventually, his mother and siblings followed him. While studying at university, he applied for a US visa, which took two years to acquire. He attended the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, from where he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Physics. He further studied at Wharton School to earn his bachelor’s degree in Economics, then Elon wanted to continue studying for his Ph.D. in Applied Physics at Stanford University, but his entrepreneurial visions lured him out of the program after just a few days, and he went to Silicon Valley.
Personal Life – his women and his children
Elon’s passion for making something work was legendary, because he dedicated so much of his time creating solutions to problems, even if some of those goals he had sounded completely absurd to most businessmen.
People around him were surprised that he found the time to court women, with his busy schedule. He reportedly dated many women, but has married just two, though all in all, Elon has 10 children with three women.
Justine Wilson with six children (early 1990s – 2008)
While trying to figure out what to do with companies such as Zip2 and Paypal, Elon courted Justine Wilson, who was studying as a writer at that time, by flying out to her place during weekends. He’d taken a liking to her when he saw her across a common room while he was studying at Queens University. When he approached her, he pretended that they met at a party, but she knew it was a lie because she never attended such a party. She initially blew him off when he asked her to go out with him for ice cream, but he was persistent. He still lived with roommates then, but after he sold Zip2, he bought his own place, which made it easier for him to devote more time to her.
They fought a lot because Justine’s ex-boyfriend continued calling her: ‘I remember thinking it was a lot of drama, and that if I was going to put up with it, we might as well be married’ said Elon, who proposed on the spot, but reenacted his proposal after a few days, with a ring in his hand.
Elon Musk, founder of SpaceX and CEO of Tesla always found it hard fitting in with others. But when his ex wife, Justine Wilson exposed Elon’s secret – Elon’s worst fears came boiling to the surface. He tried to escape into his work, but the dark truth was out. What’s the REAL reason behind Elon Musk’s level of ambition? And what painful lesson was he forced to finally learn?
Posted by Goalcast on Friday, August 6, 2021
The couple had five children, but their eldest, Nevada Alexander, died when he was 10 weeks old. This was the time when Paypal was sold to eBay, and increased Elon’s net worth by over $100 million. The doctors called it Sudden Infant Death Syndrome – the baby was resuscitated and lived for three days on life support, until Elon and Justine decided to pull the plug; he’s never wanted to talk about his son’s death.
To move on from the loss, Justine relied on IVF to have children, and soon became pregnant with twins, Griffin and Xavier, who were born in 2004. Two years later, the couple had more children, this time blessed with triplets Damian, Kai and Saxon. Their marriage only lasted for eight years, with their divorce granted in 2008. When Xavier reached the age of 18, he applied for a change of name and gender in court, and now goes by the name of Vivian Jenna Wilson. His father’s last name was also dropped, saying ‘I no longer live with or wish to be related to my biological father in any way, shape or form.’
Talula Riley – no kids (2008 – 2012, 2013 – 2016)
Barely six weeks after Elon filed for divorce in 2008, he sent a text message to Justine informing her that he was engaged to British actress, Talulah Riley. For some reason, Talulah became friends with Elon’s first wife, and people around them were astounded. Apparently, during the divorce proceedings, Justine sent an email to Talulah and told her that she’d rather live out the French movie version with the first and second wives being friends instead of the American version in which someone died and there was always a catfight. Talulah agreed and said, ‘Let’s do as the French do.’ Talulah then moved to Los Angeles and married to Elon in 2010. Since Elon shared custody with his kids, sometimes they lived with them.
The marriage didn’t last long, and they were divorced in 2012, but the couple reunited after a year, and was married for the second time. However, it didn’t take long for them to separate once more, and he filed for divorce again in 2014, which was finally granted in 2016. Elon didn’t have children with Talulah.
Grimes with two kids (2018 – 2012)
Claire Elise Boucher, popularly known by her professional name Grimes, is a Canadian singer-songwriter, musician and record producer. She had been known as one of the most adventurous solo artists in the music industry, until she met Elon in 2018, and became his girlfriend. Artificial Intelligence was one of the couple’s common denominators. she loved talking about it, and he found the best person to discuss it with.
When it was reported that they had a baby boy, people were curious about the child, most especially when the parents named him, “X Æ A-12 Musk,” fondly pronounced by his mother as “X A.I. Archangel.” Officially, the name was changed to “X AE A-XII Musk” because the original name had characters which were not recognized under California Law as part of the modern English alphabet. To make it easier for everyone, he was simply called “X.” There had been so much interest in the baby that drones followed them everywhere, so they often changed their home base.
The whole world thought that Elon only had one child with Grimes, but in an interview with Vanity Fair, it was discovered that the couple had a secret baby born in 2021 – they were able to keep it a secret, because they had the baby through surrogacy. She was named Exa Dark Sideræl Musk, and was nicknamed “Y”. During the interview, a baby was heard crying on the second floor of the house. Each time the baby cried, Grimes winced, and the interviewer knew that something was amiss, especially when the baby couldn’t be hushed. It was then that Grimes confessed to having another baby.
Most people thought that because of their children, Elon and Grimes were a couple, but he admitted that they were ‘semi-separated’ because they never lived together. They confessed that they were too different – he liked neat aesthetics, while she liked to mess with everything. In March 2022, she said, ‘I would probably refer to him as my boyfriend, but we’re very fluid.’ That same month, however, she announced via Twitter that she and Elon had broken up but remained friends. They both admitted that the relationship they shared was quite unusual, but they understood each other.
Shivon Zilis with two kids (2022)
The eccentric billionaire surprised everyone again this July 2022, when it was reported that one of his executives, Shivon Zilis, had given birth to twins, and according to the public court documents, he was written as the father. The gossip mill went into overdrive, because it seemed that there was an overlap in the timeline between his relationships with Grimes and Shivon. Apparently, the date on the documents indicated that his newest twins came within weeks of Y’s birth. There was so much talk on social media, that Elon addressed it by posting on Twitter, ‘Doing my best to help the underpopulation crisis. A collapsing birth rate is the biggest danger civilization faces by far.’ He went on to say that the population on Mars was still zero. There was a surge of people searching on social media for the new woman in Elon’s life, and it turned out that she was the Director for Operations on one of his projects in Neuralink. It was also reported that the couple chose Austin to be their main base, living there in a $4 million residence.
Elon Musk’s net worth
When a rich man acknowledged having fathered 10 children, no one questioned his ability to provide for them, especially with the amount of net worth Elon Musk was estimated to have at this time. It was in 2013 when his growth as a billionaire was noticed – he had an estimated net worth of $2.7 billion that year, and it continued increasing until 2021, when his assets blew up to an estimated $151 billion. Tesla made such a huge splash, and he owned 25% of it, but what really set him apart in 2022 and helped him snatch the top position on the richest person list from Jeff Bezos of Amazon were his investments in SpaceX. In May 2022, it quadrupled in value, and was estimated to be worth $125 billion. With all that success, he came out on top with a net worth of $253 billion, according to Forbes.
Expect more children from Elon Musk as he loves to procreate, and with his overflowing assets, he can surely afford to provide for them financially. However, children also needed other things from their fathers. While there’s no such thing as a perfect father, his estranged relationship with Vivian hopefully was just an isolated case, and not extended to his other children. It would be unfortunate if he didn’t have a great relationship with his kids, just as he had with his own father.