Immigrant Profile: Elon Musk


Elon Musk was born in Pretoria, South Africa, on June 28, 1971. He got his first computer at age ten and within two years he created and sold a space-themed PC video game for nearly $500. He was destined to become great.

Immigration to the United States

Once he finished high school, Musk enrolled at the University of Pretoria before moving to Canada, where he attended Queen’s University in Ontario. However, Musk was not satisfied with the curriculum and left Canada for the University of Pennsylvania to study business and physics, from which he graduated in 1997 with bachelor’s degrees in both physics and economics.

It had been Musk’s dream to travel to the United States. Musk had always believed that in the United States, great things were possible.

Professional Background & Achievements

Musk enrolled at Stanford University, but left after only two days to pursue his own business ventures. Shortly after creating the web software company Zip2 with his brother and another partner, they sold it to Compaq for $307 million, of which Musk’s share was $22 million.

By March 1999, Musk moved on to co-found, an online payment platform that in 2000 merged with an online banking platform, Confinity (then owner of PayPal), with the merged company being called By 2001, was performing well and was renamed PayPal, Inc. The marketing campaign led by Musk contributed to a growing and successful company.

Contributions to the U.S. Economy

After sold PayPal to eBay in 2002, a sale that netted Musk $165 million, he began a new chapter in his long list of investment ventures. After spearheading the first round of venture capital financing for Tesla Motors (soon to become Tesla, Inc.), he became the company’s CEO in 2004. Tesla, which manufactures and sells electric cars designed to meet the demands of mainstream consumers, has, under Musk’s direction, come out with the Roadster (in 2008), the Model S (2012) the Model X (2015), the Model 3 (2017), and the Model Y (2020). As of 2020, Tesla is the world’s largest manufacturer of electric cars, with over 500,000 cars delivered, as well as the world’s most valuable carmaker. In 2016, Musk acquired SolarCity, now a division of Tesla, which develops and sells solar panels and solar roof tiles. He currently has a number of other active investments, particularly in SpaceX, an aerospace manufacturer notable for having sent the first private rocket to the International Space Station in 2012 and the first private company to send astronauts into orbit. First listed on the Forbes Billionaires List in 2012 with a net worth of $2 billion, Musk now ranks second on the list, with a net worth of $151 billion as of 2021.

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