Elon Musk is an engineer, inventor, CEO, investor, and billionaire. But there's more to Musk than meets the eye—to truly understand this self-made man from South Africa, it's necessary to learn these lesser known Elon Musk facts. Musk is a dreamer with a vision; he co-founded PayPal and Tesla. But his ultimate goal is space exploration, and he believes that he can help colonize Mars by the year 2040. Sound like science fiction? Check out these things you didn't know about Elon Musk, and maybe his past achievements will give insight into his visions for the future.
Elon Musk was born in South Africa but moved to Canada on his own while still a teenager. He worked odd jobs before landing at Queen’s University in Ontario. By the age of 28, he was a multi-millionaire. As of 2018, Musk had a net worth of $20.8 billion, which according to Forbes, makes him the 53rd richest man in the world.
But the real life inspiration for Tony Stark is in the game for more than just money and power. His pro-environmental ambition is to create an accessible electric car so that mankind is no longer oil dependent. Elon Musk's biography paints a picture of a man with unbelievable drive and perhaps the intelligence to colonize the Red Planet in our lifetime.
He Used To Live On A Dollar A Day
After Musk's parents divorced when he was eight years old, he lived with his mother, Maye Musk, in various cities throughout South Africa. He dreamed of moving to the United States but wound up immigrating to Canada by himself at 17 years old. The future billionaire stayed with family members and lived on just one dollar a day. He saved money by buying oranges and hot dogs in large quantities.
Musk Wrote And Sold Code For A Video Game At Just 12 Years Old
Before Musk even became a teenager, he wrote code for a space-based video game called "Blastar." He was just 12 years old at the time and lived in South Africa. The Tesla CEO pocketed a few hundred dollars by selling the code to a PC magazine. His code was not used in the game, but Musk later published it in his biography. From there, a Google software engineer named Tomas Lloret created a version of the game that is available to play online.
Musk Took An Extremely Dangerous Job At 18 Years Old
When Musk moved to Canada as a teenager, he didn't have a place to stay or much money in his pocket. He lived at a second cousin's house in a small town called Swift Current. He worked several odd jobs upon his arrival; Musk was a farm hand and a logger, but he ideally wanted a job that would earn him more money.
An unemployment officer guided him to a job cleaning the boiler room of a lumber mill for $18 an hour. Musk took the gig. However, there was a reason why it paid so well. In fact, most people quit after just one week. Musk described the dangers:
"You have to put on this hazmat suit and then shimmy through this little tunnel that you can barely fit in," Musk said. "Then, you have a shovel and you take the sand and goop and other residue, which is still steaming hot, and you have to shovel it through the same hole you came through. There is no escape. Someone else on the other side has to shovel it into a wheelbarrow. If you stay in there for more than thirty minutes, you get too hot and die."
Musk Wishes He Didn't Have To Take The Time To Eat
While he was a teenager in Canada, Musk befriended a woman named Christie Nicholson. She said in an interview that Musk told her he spent a lot of time thinking about electric cars. The pair remained friends and often chat on the phone. A statement Musk made to Nicholson truly reveals the inventor's dedication to his work: "If there was a way that I could not eat, so I could work more, I would not eat. I wish there was a way to get nutrients without sitting down for a meal."