ELON Musk overtook Amazon boss Jeff Bezos on Thursday, January 8, to become the richest person in the world.
But who is the Tesla boss? Here's what we know about the entrepreneur's extraordinary existence.
Who is Elon Musk?
The visionary thinker is famous for his galaxy-wide scope and vast ambition – but his earlier life is less well-known.
Musk was born in Pretoria, South Africa, in 1971, to South African electromechanical engineer, pilot, and sailor Errol Musk and model and dietitian Maye Musk.
His parents divorced in 1980, and lived mainly with his father which later said was a "bad idea".
As a 12-year-old child he taught himself computer programming and sold the code of a video game to a PC magazine for $500 (£300).
The gifted child was severely bullied, and at 17 moved to Canada to study.
Two years later he transferred to the University of Pennsylvania, where he gained two degrees in physics and in business.
While studying there Musk and fellow Penn student Adeo Ressi rented a ten-bedroom fraternity house, using it as an unofficial nightclub.
At the age of 24, he moved to California to start a Ph.D. in applied physics and material science at Stanford University, but he left the program after just two days to pursue other projects.
Now 49, he is the founder and CEO of SpaceX, co-founder, CEO and product architect of Tesla Motors, co-founder and chairman of SolarCity, co-chairman of Opan AI, co-founder of Zip2 and founder of X.com, which merged with PayPal.
The billionaire investor is also working on the world's largest lithium-ion battery to store renewable energy.
Musk has also said he fears a global artificial intelligence arms race could spark World War 3, and he warned humanity must act now to stop killer robots wiping us out.
He also revealed that he suffers from bipolar disorder and has opened up about the "great highs and terrible lows" of his life.
How did Elon Musk make his fortune?
In 1995 he and his brother Kimbal started software firm Zip2, which created internet city guides for the New York Times and Chicago Tribune.
Four years later, in February 1999, Compaq acquired the first for $307million in cash.
Musk pocketed $22million for his seven per cent share from the sale.
Later in 1999, he co-founded X.com — one of the world's first online banks. The following year X.com merged with PayPal.
Musk was ousted from his role as CEO in October 2000 due to disagreements with other company executives over his wish to move PayPal's Unix-based infrastructure to Microsoft one.
In 2002, PayPal was acquired by eBay for $1.5billion in stock.
Musk — who held 11.7 percent of PayPal shares —received $165million and a huge payday.
Is Elon Musk 2021 Time's Person of the Year?
Yes, you can catch Musk's face on the cover of Time this month.
To be named Person of the Year, you must have shaped the previous 12 months, for better or for worse. And, I think everyone can agree that Musk sure has done that. Musk’s largest impact so far has been with Tesla. 2021 was the year that electric vehicles finally came into the mainstream and that Tesla became a trillion-dollar company.
However, Telsa is not Musk's only venture. Musk founded SpaceX in 2002 with the goal of reducing space transportation costs to enable the colonization of Mars. He also wants to place astronauts back on the moon for the first time in more than 50 years. His timeline to put astronauts back on the moon is three years and an additional two years to land on Mars.
It is no doubt that Musk is always pushing boundaries and making individuals think outside of the box to create innovative solutions to the world's most challenging problems.
What is Elon Musk's net worth?
Self-made billionaire Elon Musk became the richest person on the planet in January with an estimated personal fortune of $185bn (£136bn).
A notorious workaholic, he doesn't spend his money on lavish vacations or expensive hobbies.
Instead, the entrepreneur spends most of his free time at the office or in factories.
At the end of the day, he heads back to one of several Los Angeles mansions he owns.
Now, Musk has made the price of Bitcoin break all-time records after he revealed Tesla invested $1.5billion in the cryptocurrency.
It soared beyond $48,000 today (February 9) on the cyptocurrency markets as investors raced to take advantage of an inevitable post-Musk surge.
What is Elon Musk's IQ?
There is no official data that confirms Musk's IQ.
It is estimated, however, to be around 155.
In context, the IQ for most people ranges between 85 and 115.
The IQ of notable brains including Stephen Hawking and Albert Einstein was around 160.
More than 95 percent of the world's population has an IQ below 130.
Who is Elon Musk's girlfriend?
Musk married English actress Talulah Riley in 2010, remarried her in 2013 after the pair briefly divorced in 2012, and then finally divorced for a second time in October 2016.
Actress Amber Heard, who is divorced from Johnny Depp, has been in an on-off relationship with Musk.
In February 2018 it was reported that the pair had split for a second time because "the timing wasn't right".
Musk is now dating musician Grimes, 32, aka Claire Boucher.
The couple made their debut at the Met Gala in May 2018.
They welcomed their first baby in May last year.
Musk and Grimes announced the baby was named X Æ A-12, but were forced to choose something else as the state does not allow symbols in a name.
How many children does Elon Musk have?
Musk's personal life is as colourful as his multi-faceted world of business.
He had six sons with his first wife, Justine Wilson, before the pair separated in 2008 after eight years.
Their first child died at the age of ten weeks, of sudden infant death syndrome.
They had their five sons through IVF – twins in 2004, followed by triplets in 2006.
Very little is known about the boys.
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Musk has never spoken publicly about his life with his sons.
In a previous interview, Ms Wilson said: "Almost all of my non-work waking hours are spent with my boys, and they are the love of my life.”
Musk was also married to English actress Talulah Riley twice, but the couple did not have any children.
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