The eldest of three children, Elon Musk was born in Pretoria in South Africa on June 28th, 1971. Musk was born to a Canadian mother, Maye who was also a model and dietician. His father was a South African electromechanical engineer named Errol, and was most probably the one who made the biggest imprint on the young Musk.
Growing up, Elon Musk was an especially quiet child. His mother reports that this was the case, to such an extent that she had for the longest time suspected that Musk might be deaf, especially when considering the loud personalities of his siblings Tosca and Kimbal.
At the age of 10, Musk’s parents decided to file for a divorce. This had a trying effect on Musk and his siblings. His father is said to have been a strict man and parent, often even to the point of abuse, and had very specific ideas as to how he wanted his children to grow up. He reportedly lectured Musk and his brother for hours on end about various life lessons, but not in a positive way at all.
Musk’s Early Years
Musk’s aptitude for intellectual things didn’t do him any favours growing up. He belonged to a very difficult and unforgiving sub-culture and found himself facing adversity around every corner. He would later mention during a public interview that one of his greatest concerns was that his own children did not face enough adversity and general character building.
Musk attended famous preparatory school, Waterkloof House, and later, Pretoria Boys High School. Musk remembers his school years being lonely ones, recalling a specific occasion when he was lured out of hiding away only to be beaten up by those who proposed to be his friends. He refers to his high school years as having been brutal.
The Great Escape
Musk found the ultimate antidote to a difficult life to be technology. He became acquainted with his first programming language at the age of 10. Before long he had not only created his first video game, a game he named “Blastar”, but had also sold his creation for $500 to a magazine called PC and Office Technology. Blastar was created in the style of the famous Space Invaders video game and although it was a far cry from the slick, sophisticated games of online Roulette and just about everything else we can play online today, for its time, it was bordering on revolutionary.
Having grown up in South Africa’s trying apartheid years, Musk decided to move to Canada when he was 17, in a bid to avoid serving mandatory military time for the local government. Musk obtained Canadian citizenship thanks to his mother’s Canadian heritage and citizenship.
Shortly after having emigrated to Canada, Musk enrolled at the Queen’s University in Ontario, where he also met and married Justine Wilson who would go on to become the mother of his 6 children (one who passed away at 10 weeks from SIDs), before the pair got divorced in 2008.
Musk only remained at Queen’s University for two years, after which he enrolled at the University of Pennsylvania instead. Here he completed a Bachelor of Science in Physics. He later also obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from the Wharton School.
The Infamous Battery
Ever since graduating from the universities where he studied, Musk has been involved in many projects and business ventures, including Xcom, PayPal, Tesla Motors, and SpaceX.
He has since become especially interested in the sustainable way of living, and recently made headlines having built a 129-megawatt-hour battery for South Australia. The battery generates the largest portion of its energy by making use of wind power. What made the project particularly fascinating, was that Musk had vowed to install the battery within the time-frame of 100 days of signing a partnership agreement with the Australian state government, failing which he had vowed to make it for free.
The Government signed with Musk in September 2017, and he won the bet, fulfilling his promise to complete installation in the stipulated time and once again proving he is a man who gets things done.