Elon Musk is Time Magazine’s person of the year and the number one richest man in the world, recording a net worth of $272.1 billion. But there is more to Elon Musk than just the numbers. Musk was born on June 28, 1971, in Pretoria, South Africa. As a child, Musk was so lost in his daydreams about inventions that his parents and doctors ordered a test to check his hearing. At about the time of his parents’ divorce, when he was 10, Musk developed an interest in computers. He taught himself how to program, and when he was 12 he sold his first software: a game he created called Blastar. At age 17, in 1989, Musk moved to Canada to attend Queen’s University and avoid mandatory service in the South African military. Musk obtained his Canadian citizenship that year, in part because he felt it would be easier to obtain American citizenship via that path.
In 1992, Musk left Canada to study business and physics at the University of Pennsylvania. He graduated with an undergraduate degree in economics and stayed for a second bachelor’s degree in physics. After leaving Penn, Musk headed to Stanford University in California to pursue a PhD in energy physics. However, his move was timed perfectly with the Internet boom, and he dropped out of Stanford after just two days to become a part of it, launching his first company, Zip2 Corporation in 1995. Musk became a U.S. citizen in 2002, and started his second company x.com that later became named Paypal. Musk would continue to invest his profits into his new ideas and companies, thus giving rise to his third company SpaceX. Musk wanted to make a new form of transportation for commercial space travel.
Then, in 2003, the 800 lb. gorilla was formed. Musk became the co-founder, CEO and product architect at Tesla Motors. With a stake in the company taken by Daimler and a strategic partnership with Toyota, Tesla Motors launched its initial public offering in June 2010, raising $226 million. After taking multiple different car designs Musk would continue to grow the company to lead the way in alternative energy driven cars.
The amazing thing about Elon Musk is how he keeps pushing his limits in different areas. He isn’t just a businessman, or investor, or physicist. He somehow excels at all of these things and challenges every aspect of how we currently live our lives. He does all this while also maintaining a relatively neutral political footing and has connected to everyday people on social without getting canceled so far which may be his most impressive accomplishment in today’s world. Musk also puts his money where his mouth is and isn’t afraid to talk about it. He expects to pay $11 billion in taxes for 2021. Musk has already paid $7 billion in state and federal taxes this year, and will pay a further $5 billion by January 1st. As a result of this Musk officially moved Tesla’s headquarters to Texas just weeks ago to avoid taxes.
All in all, person of the year seems pretty well deserved by Dr. Elon Musk, but such an accolade is a drop in the bucket for him. Like it or not, he is set on changing the world we live in and if some of the crazy things he’s drawing up work out, he’ll do a pretty effective job of that.
On another note, this letter is coming out early because our office as well as the stock market is closed tomorrow in observance of Christmas. We wish you all Happy Holidays and hope everyone gets what they want from Elon… I mean Santa.