Elon Musk, the famous CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, is not the most private about his life, but there is still a lot that many don’t know about the space-obsessed billionaire. After the innovator made history with his company SpaceX and right before he celebrates his 49th birthday later this month, take a look at 15 facts about the Silicon Valley mogul.
- Elon Musk was born in South Africa in 1971.
2. He became famous for starting Tesla Motors and SpaceX but he first made his fortune as a co-founder of PayPal.
3. Musk provided a large amount of inspiration for the Hollywood character Tony Stark (a.k.a. Iron Man). In fact, parts of Iron Man 2 were actually filmed inside and outside of SpaceX. Musk even has a cameo in the film!
4. Like Steve Jobs and other famous entrepreneurs, Musk’s official annual salary for Tesla Motors is just $1.
5. Musk then became a major funder in Tesla Motors, now called Tesla. Largely uninterested in the electric vehicles then, Tesla introduced the Roadster, a car with futuristic looks and a battery with a range of 394 km on a single charge.
6. Both of Musk’s successes, SpaceX as well as Tesla, had come very close to failing. While the first three rockets failed to launch the fourth was a success and the Roadster went through several production problems.
7. At age 12, Musk taught himself computer programming and created a video game called Blastar, which he sold for $500.
8. Elon Musk didn’t become an American citizen until 2002, at age 31.