Big changes may be coming to Twitter as billionaire Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk is set to acquire the social media giant in a $44 billion deal that would cap a bid that began in early April to exert official influence over policies designed to combat abuse on the platform, which Musk has cast as anti-free speech. On April 4, Musk became the company’s largest shareholder and backed out at the last minute from an agreement to join Twitter’s board of directors.
Now, on the verge of taking over the company, Musk is promising to bring “free speech” to Twitter.
But who exactly is Musk? Here is what to know the richest man on Earth.
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Who is Elon Musk?
Musk is a South-Africa-born billionaire entrepreneur who serves as CEO of Tesla, the popular electric vehicle manufacturer, and SpaceX. Musk made an early fortune founding PayPal in 1999. EBay bought the company in 2002 for $1.5 billion and Musk made $180 million from the deal, Time Magazine reported.
Soon after, Musk founded SpaceX, which partners with NASA on space missions. Musk’s admirers herald him as a visionary thrusting the world into the future. His ultimate goal with SpaceX is to make humanity a “multi-planet” species by colonizing Mars and another of his projects seeks to integrate a computer into the human brain.
But outside of his ambitious projects, Musk is almost as known for his polarizing online persona. He is popular on Twitter, where he chimes in on politics, talks business openly and embraces the internet’s meme culture. Some of his tweets have landed him in legal trouble.
How old is Elon Musk?
Musk was born on June 28, 1971. He is 50 years old.
Where is Elon Musk from originally?
Musk grew up in Pretoria, one of South Africa’s three capital cities. His mother is a Canadian-born South-African model who was a finalist in the 1969 Miss South Africa competition. His father, Errol Musk, is an engineer. His parents separated in 1980.
Is Elon Musk the richest man in the world?
In 2021, Musk surpassed Amazon founder Jeff Bezos to become the richest man in the world.
What is Elon Musk’s net worth?
Forbes lists his net worth at $267.1 billion at time of publishing.
Is Elon Musk married?
Musk was married to Canadian author Justine Wilson from 2000 to 2008. He was also married to English actress Talulah Riley from 2010 to 2016. Musk has six children with Wilson and two children with his ex-girlfriend, singer Grimes.
What companies does Elon Musk own?
Musk has founded or co-founded several major companies. The list includes Tesla, SpaceX, OpenAI, Neuralink, the Boring Company and Starlink.
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Where did Elon Musk go to college?
Musk graduated in 1995 from the University of Pennsylvania with bachelor’s degrees in physics and business. He dropped out of a physics PhD program at Stanford University.
Where did Elon Musk get all his money?
Musk said he started his first venture, Zip2, a software company, in 1995 with $15,000 and a later round of $200,000 from investors, including his father. Zip2 sold for $300 million in 1999.
We started Zip2 with ~$2k from me plus my overclocked home-built PC, ~$5k from my bro & ~$8k from Greg Kouri (such a good guy — he is greatly missed).— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 28, 2019
My Dad provided 10% of a ~$200k angel funding round much later, but by then risk was reduced & round would’ve happened anyway.
Is Elon Musk a Democrat or Republican?
Musk said in a 2018 tweet that he is registered as an independent voter and described his political views as “moderate.” He has donated to both political parties over the years.
Thanks Jack. To be clear, I am not a conservative. Am registered independent & politically moderate. Doesn’t mean I’m moderate about all issues. Humanitarian issues are extremely important to me & I don’t understand why they are not important to everyone.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 14, 2018
Still, opinions on Musk tend to be divided along party lines. Conservatives rallied behind Musk last year as he moved Tesla’s headquarters from California, a blue state, to Texas, a red state,and are supporting him now as he promises “free speech” on Twitter, where they say they have been censored. Some Democrats are worried about the potential increased spread of misinformation on the platform under Musk’s control and the prospect of former president Donald Trump’s return to Twitter after he was permanently banned last year.
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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Who is Elon Musk? What to know about the billionaire Tesla CEO