In recent years, Elon Musk has become a household name. The founder of SpaceX and CEO of Tesla, his products, endeavours, and even his personal life regularly receive media attention. But there’s a lot you probably don’t know about Musk and his early life, here are a few of the most interesting things about him:
1. He Holds South African, Canadian, and US Citizenship
Musk was born and raised in Pretoria, South Africa. His father is South African, and his mother is Canadian. He applied for a Canadian passport and moved there when he was 17. Two years later he moved to the United States to attend the University of Pennsylvania, and in 2002 he gained citizenship.
2. He Taught Himself How to Code as a Kid
Musk discovered coding around the age of 10 and at 12 created his own video game called Blastar using BASIC. He sold the game for $500 to a magazine, and you can still find the game online today.
3. He Invested His Own Money into SpaceX
While many people didn’t know about SpaceX until its recent launches, Musk started the company in 2002. His goal was to reduce space travel costs and make it possible for humans to live on other planets, like Mars. Potential investors thought this was crazy and so Musk couldn’t secure the funding he needed. Instead, he invested $100 million of his own money to get the company started.
4. Tony Stark is Based on Musk
Before filming the Iron Man movies, Robert Downey Jr. sat down with Musk to learn more about him and his mannerisms so that he could make Stark a realistic and believable character. Musk even makes a brief cameo appearance in the second Iron Man film.
5. He Dropped Out of Stanford After Two Days
After earning two bachelor’s degrees from the University of Pennsylvania, Musk enrolled at Stanford for graduate school. After only two days, he dropped out to take advantage of the internet boom. It paid off as he started two companies in the 90s, Zip2 and X.com, which became PayPal. Between the sales of the two businesses, Musk made just under $200 million.
6. He’s a Big X-Men Fan
Musk is a major fan of Marvel’s X-Men comics and movies. When the Tesla factory received new robots, he named them after different characters from the movies. Musk also named one of his sons Xavier after Professor Xavier.
7. He Owns Wet Nellie
Musk owns Wet Nellie, the custom submarine car they used in the James Bond movie, The Spy Who Loved Me. He purchased the car in 2013 for £616000. Musk hopes to use the car to make his own fully functioning underwater vehicles.
8. He Didn’t Found Tesla
Tesla, Inc was founded in 2003 by Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning. Musk didn’t get involved until 2004 when he gave them $6.5 million and became chairman of the board of directors. He became CEO in 2008 and in 2009 there was a lawsuit which resulted in Musk and four others all being able to call themselves co-founders.