Profile: Billionaire Entrepreneur Elon Musk: “I would like to die on Mars, not just on Impact”

By: | March 14th, 2013

Seldom do we see such a young life where big dreams and ambitions are transformed into reality in the span of a few short years; his story is a testament to vision, passion, determination with a generous helping of talent.

Born in South Africa in 1971 Elon Musk was raised in Pretoria by a South African engineer father, Errol Musk, and Canadian born Pennsylvania Dutch, nutritionist and author mother, Maye. As he grew up he dreamed of moving to the US where he believed “anything is possible.” His first stop though was Canada where he spent two years at Queens University in Kingston Ontario.

Elon Musk

Elon Musk (Image Courtesy

In 1992 he matriculated at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia where he pursued a business and physics degree. Before he was done he had an undergraduate degree in business and physics and moved to Silicon Valley in California where in 1995 he enrolled in Stanford’s PhD program in Applied Physics and Materials Science.

A young dreamer and fan of Nicola Tesla Musk focused on what he believed to be the most important challenges and opportunities facing humanity: the Internet, clean energy, and space. After only two days at Stanford he dropped out to start a company with his brother Kimbal Musk named “Zip2” which provided online content publishing software to news organizations.

Four short years later in 1999 Compaq acquired Zip2 four $307 million in cash and $34 million in stock options. In March 1999 Musk cofounded the global payments system which later became PayPal, Inc. In 2002 he sold PayPal to eBay for $1.5 billion in stock.

Musk’s third venture he called SpaceX which was founded in 2002. Space X develops and manufactures space launch systems. SpaceX’s first two launch vehicles were Falcon 1 and Falcon 9 and their first spaceship is known as the Dragon. In 2008 NASA awarded SpaceX $1.6 billion for 12 flights of their Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon spacecraft to the International Space Station in place of the retiring Space Shuttle program.

Next, Musk cofounded Tesla Motors in 2003. Tesla’s Roadster was the first electric sports car in the world which shipped 2,300 vehicles to 31 countries. Tesla supplies its electric power-train systems to a variety of leading auto manufacturers including Mercedes and Toyota.

Solar City Tower for Rio Olympic Games

Solar City Tower for Rio Olympic Games (Image Courtesy

Finally Musk started a company called SolarCity which is the largest provider of solar power systems in the United States. Musk’s motivation is to help the world deal with global warming. Batteries used in Tesla Motors electric vehicles are being adapted for use as solar power batteries.

Musk works 100 hour weeks running his companies. At the age of 41 he has had two marriages end in divorce and has five sons.

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David Russell Schilling

David enjoys research and writing about cutting edge technologies that hold the promise of improving conditions for all life on planet earth.

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5 thoughts on “Profile: Billionaire Entrepreneur Elon Musk: “I would like to die on Mars, not just on Impact”

  1. Nena Price
    May 31, 2013 at 11:30 am

    Owesome!!!!!! What a gift to humanity to have such a talent looking to improve our earthly lives (and outer space one, as well). “Sky is the limit” doesn’t apply to Elon.
    Besides, I’m glad someone here in United States, finally, resurrected name of Nikola Tesla (my countryman!!) who was a genius in his own way.
    Good job Elon.

  2. Chishala Chisunka
    June 15, 2013 at 5:39 am

    It is really a marvel and very encouraging to note that there are people striving to better humanity’s stay on this earth.
    How I wish I could utilise our weather in Zambia to produce renewable energy especially in rural areas.
    Keep on keeping on Elon

  3. Max Landrotti
    July 16, 2013 at 10:09 am


  4. Bill
    July 18, 2013 at 3:14 am


  5. Victor Pavlovic
    August 26, 2013 at 9:56 pm

    This guy is the best at what he does, seemingly a genius, in a way like Nikola Tesla, but with the ability to see the end result of his visions, on a very frequent basis. Best of luck, Elon Musk.

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