Elon Musk is the CEO of Tesla Motors and SpaceX with a net worth of $19.1 billion. Tesla is popularizing electric vehicles with its most current model, Model 3, starting at $35,000. SpaceX is a spacecraft company valued at over $20 billion.
At age 12, Musk invented a video game called Blastar and sold it to a computer magazine for $500.
Attending college at University of Pennsylvania, Musk and classmate Adeo Ressi rented out a fraternity house as a business expense to turn a profit from hosting unofficial nightclub parties that attracted over 1,000 customers.
Musk was already a millionaire by his late twenties by seling his startup company, Zip2, to Compaq Computer Corporation for $307 million. He earned his first billion in 2002 with the sale of PayPal of which he was cofounder.
Musk is also CEO of his new venture called Neuralink, which produces brain-machine interfaces, with the hopes of preparing humans to prevent artificial intelligence from overpowering and destroying human life.
Musk was a part of the first time a private company sent a spacecraft to the International Space Station. In 2012, SpaceX launched the unmanned Falcon 9 rocket into space with 1,000 pounds of supplies for astronauts at the station. Furthermore, Musk has reduced the cost of reaching the International Space Station by 90%, from $1 billion to $60 million per mission.
Musk used to be a part of Trump’s Manufacturing Jobs Initiative, stating that he was involved with the intent to accelerate the transition to sustainable energy and create a better future by creating a massive number of new jobs. However, Musk stepped down from his role when Trump withdrew the U.S. from the Paris climate accord.
Musk has recently received bad publicity. Tesla has undergone setbacks such as the recall of 126,000 Model S vehicles to fix bolts, car crashes that raised doubts about self-driving systems and several delays in the production of the Model 3. The stock, credit rating and value of the company have been plummeting. In addition, Musk’s new venture to build an underground transit network in Los Angeles to prevent traffic has been publicized as a careless expenditure of Tesla’s money.
Musk founded the Musk Foundation, an organization for space exploration and the discovery of clean energy sources. It runs the Musk Mars Desert Observatory telescope in Utah.
Musk is on Forbes Lists as #25 of Powerful People, #54 of Billionaires (#24 of Billionaires in the United States), #21 on Forbes 400 and #12 for Richest in Tech.