10 Facts you didn't know about Elon Musk

South African Elon Musk is simply one of the most recognisable people on  Earth today. Tesla, SpaceX, SolarCity, PayPal... the entrepreneur has  his fingers in many pies.

Elon Musk was born in South Africa to a Canadian mother, Maye who was a model, and a South African father, Errol, who was an electromechanical engineer.

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Elon Musk started his first business at the age of 12 when he sold software he created called Blastar to the computer magazine publisher, PC and Office Technology for $500.

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Elon Musk paid his way through college but left with  around $100,000 in student debt. He did several jobs to pay his way,  including being a cleaner at a lumber mill for $18 an hour.

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Elon Musk launched his first company, Zip2, at the age of 24, with his brother Kimbal Musk and Greg Kouri. The company was later acquired by Compaq for $307 million in 1999.

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Elon Musk merged his company x.com with Confinity in 2000. It went on to become the online payment platform PayPal in 2001. PayPal was then acquired by eBay for $1.5 billion in 2002.

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In 2002, Elon Musk founded SpaceX, an aerospace  manufacturer, and space transport services company. The company aims to  reduce the cost of transportation to space and, one day, enable the  colonisation of Mars.

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In 2004, Elon Musk joined electric vehicle manufacturer Tesla Motors.  He later went on to act as chairman and CEO. Tesla's first vehicle was  the Roadster, which was released in 2008. Today Tesla is the most  valuable car manufacturer in the world.

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In 2006, Elon Musk helped create SolarCity, a solar energy services company. In 2016 the company was bought out by Tesla for $2.6 billion and renamed Tesla Energy.

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In 2015, Elon Musk co-founded OpenAI, a non-profit  research company focused on artificial intelligence. The company has  gone on to develop systems for machine-created writing, music, and  coding, amongst others. Microsoft is a significant contributor.

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Elon Musk has also co-founded The Boring Company, a  tunnel construction company. The aim of the company is to reduce traffic  congestion by building a network of underground tunnels. Two projects  that it has worked on are in Los Angeles and Las Vegas.

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