Elon Musk was born in Pretoria, South Africa, to Maye Musk, a model and dietician, and Errol Musk, an electromechanical engineer and property developer who was a half-owner of a Zambian emerald mine. Elon is the eldest of two siblings, a brother, Kimbal, and a sister, Tosca.
After briefly attending the University of Pretoria, Elon moved to Canada at age 17 in 1989, acquiring citizenship through his Canadian-born mother. After enrolling at Queen’s University in 1991, he transferred to the University of Pennsylvania where he received a bachelor’s in economics and physics. He then moved to California in 1995 to attend Stanford University but dropped out to pursue a career in business.
In 2002, after dabbling in numerous startups, Elon founded SpaceX, an aerospace manufacturer and space transport services company, of which he still serves as CEO and Chief Engineer. The businessman then became an early investor in Tesla Motors, Inc. (now Tesla, Inc.) in 2004. He went on to become its chairman and product architect, assuming the position of CEO in 2008.
Elon’s other business ventures include creating the solar energy company SolarCity in 2006 (it was later acquired by Tesla and became Tesla Energy) and cofounding the nonprofit research company OpenAI in 2015. He also cofounded Neuralink — a neurotechnology company focused on brain-computer interfaces — in 2016 and agreed to purchase Twitter in 2022, for $44 billion. The South African native later terminated the deal and is currently involved in a legal battle with the company.
In addition to his notable status as the richest person in the world (with a net worth of $243.9 billion, according to Forbes). Elon’s personal life has made headlines on several occasions over the years due to his various dalliances with several different women.
The CEO shares twins Vivian and Griffin and triplets Kai, Saxon and Damian with ex-wife Justine Wilson, to whom he was married from 2000-2008. Immediately following his divorce, he began dating English actress Talulah Riley and the pair tied the knot two years later in 2010. They divorced in 2012 before remarrying the following year. After Elon briefly filed for divorce in 2014, he went on to finalize the separation in 2016.
The tech billionaire then went on to date actress Amber Heard in 2017 for several months. In 2022, during Johnny Depp’s defamation trial against the Aquaman actress, Elon was accused of having an affair with Heard during her marriage to Depp — claims both the SpaceX founder and the Texas native denied.
In May 2018, Elon and synth-pop musician Grimes revealed they were dating, making their first public appearance together at that year’s Met Gala. The “Oblivion” singer gave birth to their son X AE A-XII in May 2020. In December 2021, news broke that the Tesla CEO and the Canada native quietly welcomed daughter Exa Dark Sideræl via surrogate.
In July 2022, Insider reported that Elon and Shivon Zillis, an executive at his Neuralink company, became the parents of twins in November 2021. Court docs filed in April petitioned to give the kids “their father’s last name and contain their mother’s last name as part of their middle name.” The request was granted one month later.