Every Insane Fact You Never Knew About Elon Musk
Elon Musk is perhaps the most accomplished person on the planet. Here are things you never knew about the high-tech visionary.
1. Elon Musk may be famous for starting American businesses, but he actually hails from South Africa.
2. He started his first company, Zip2, after dropping out of college. He sold it for over $300 million in 1999.
3. Musk taught himself how to program at age 12 and created a game called "Blastar." He sold it for $500.
4. Musk couldn't muster any investment capital into SpaceX, so he put his own money into the startup.
5. Before starting Tesla and SpaceX, Musk co-founded X.com, which we now know as Paypal.
6. Tesla, Elon Musk's electric car manufacturer, was the first automaker to successfully market an electric sports car.
7. Musk and SpaceX has reduced the cost of reaching the International Space Station (ISS) from $1 billion to $60 million.
8. Musk has five sons and actually named one of them Xavier, after Professor X of the X-Men.
9. Elon Musk was the real-life inspiration behind the character of Tony Stark in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
10. Elon Musk is committed to combating climate change, citing it as his main prerogative behind Tesla and SpaceX.
11. Musk was awarded the Federation Aronautique Internationale Gold Space Medal in 2010 for developing the first private rocket to reach orbit.
12. Despite going to college in the U.S., Musk didn't become and American citizen until he was 31.
13. Musk dropped out of graduate school after only two days so he could get into the booming internet technology industry.
14. The Tesla Model S was given the highest safety rating ever awarded to a vehicle by the National Highway Administration: 5.4 out of 5.
15. After launch failures and production plagues, both Tesla and SpaceX came extremely close to failing.
16. Elon has been married three times, and twice to the same woman, Talulah Riley.
17. Musk is a "thrillionaire," a club of high-tech entrepreneurs bent on birthing our sci-fi fantasies.
18. He has signed "The Giving Pledge," a promise from the extremely wealthy to use the majority of their fortune to better humanity through charity.
19. Musk had a submarine car called "Wet Nellie" custom built for him based on the Bond film "The Spy Who Loved Me."
20. Elon is the chairman and largest single shareholder of SolarCity, a company that provides solar powered products founded by his cousin.
21. Elon Musk guest starred on an episode of "The Simpsons" playing and poking fun at himself.
22. He created the Musk Foundation, which is committed to advancing clean energy and space exploration.
23. Musk's planned Hyperloop could get you from Los Angeles to San Francisco in just 30 minutes.
24. Elon Musk named Tesla Motors after Nikola Tesla, the genius inventor and inspiration to Musk.
25. Musk was named Most Popular Space Hero by a Space Foundation survey.
26. Elon was awarded honorary doctorates in Aerospace Engineering and Design by the University of Surrey and Art Center College of Design in California, respectively.
27. Musk donated solar power systems in 2010 to areas that were badly effected by Hurricane Katrina.
28. He's been known to sleep at the office, even living at Tesla plants in order to meet deadlines and keep the plant running.
29. Elon Musk's ultimate dream is to get people to Mars, even going so far as saying: "I'd like to die on Mars, just not on impact."
30. Elon Musk has a 100+ hour work week between Tesla Motors and SpaceX.
31. According to Musk, he doesn't build wealth for wealth's sake. He views money as a means to fulfill a purpose.
32. Being an immigrant entrepreneur himself, Musk supports fairly liberal immigration policies.
33. Musk wants to create a fifth mode of transportation apart from planes, trains, automobiles, and boats: The Hyperloop.
34. Musk named his SpaceX's first shuttle "The Dragon" after "Puff The Magic Dragon," as a jab at those who thought his goals outlandish.
35. Musk put a wheel of cheese in his first successful shuttle launch in honor of Monty Python's John Cleese.
36. The SpaceX Falcon rockets are legitimately named after the Millennium Falcon from Star Wars.
37. According to Musk, failure is always a valid option. "If things are not failing, you are not innovating enough."
38. In the early years of Zip2, Musk only had enough money to rent out a bedroom, which also served as his office and headquarters for the company.
39. Musk doesn't actually like being a CEO. Being an engineer at heart, he likes getting down in the details.
40. Elon Musk doesn't plan on retiring, he says he'd just get bored.