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Elon Musk

Nomination Year: 2018

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Elon Musk, born in South Africa on June 28, 1971, is an American entrepreneur and businessman with a futuristic approach to business. He sold his start-up company, Zip 2, to a division of Compaq Computers, leading Musk to be a multimillionaire by his late 20’s. He also founded in 1999 (which later became known as PayPal), SpaceX in 2002, and Tesla Motors in 2003. Not only has Musk signed the Giving Pledge, a commitment by the world’s wealthiest individuals to dedicate the majority of their wealth to philanthropy rather than bestow their fortunes to future generations in their own family, but his businesses have already revolutionized existing markets and his persistence in the face of failure demonstrates his innovative and goal seeking attitude. We have nominated Elon Musk because we can learn many things from his life. With full dedication, hard work, patience, and ambition, Musk has been able to move up the larger steps of the ladder in his life. His companies are dealing with real problems that humanity is facing right now and he has invested all of his time, money, and efforts to help solve the problems of energy, space, and intelligence. Musk may not have graduated from Harvard, but the people working under him did; he is no smarter and no more hardworking than the rest but Musk stands out on a whole entire level as a positive and risk-taking entrepreneur. All of what Musk has accomplished and will accomplish is on a much larger scale than any other, and that is what makes Elon Musk great.




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    Elon Musk is an American business magnate, investor and engineer. He was born in Pretoria, South Africa on June 28, 1971 to Maye Musk, a Canadian model, and Errol Musk, an engineer and pilot. Whilst growing up, Musk was severely bullied. By 12 years old, he used his self-taught programming skills to develop a code for a game he called “Blastar” which he sold for $500. Elon believes that his purpose in life is to take actions that are likely to prolong civilization, minimize the public of a dark age and reduce the length of a dark age, if there is one. Musk had obtained Canadian citizenship through his mother in 1989 and attended Queen’s University in Canada for 2 years. Musk then moved on to the University of Pennsylvania in 1992, where he ran an unofficial night club out of a rented 10-bedroom fraternity house. In 1995, Musk entered the PhD program at Stanford but dropped out after 2 days to focus on entrepreneur ventures based on this internet everyone was talking about.

Elon Musk married Justine Musk in the beginning of 2000 and he obtained his U.S citizenship in 2002. Justine had their first son, Nevada Alexander, who died 10 weeks after his birth due to SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome). Justine then proceeded onto a vitro fertilization process. Today, they now have a set of twins and triplets together, in total 5 sons, but they divorced in 2008. He then married to Talulah Riley in 2010, but their marriage ended in 2016 when they filed for divorce.

Elon Musk and his brother created Zip 2, four years later he received 22 million dollars for a share when they sold Zip2 to Compaq. Musk used this money to co-found, a user friendly online Financial service (that later came to be commonly known as PayPal); when eBay purchased PayPal in 2002 for $1.5 billion, Musk received $165 million.

Committed to fight global climate change, Musk founded Tesla Motors in 2003 and SolarCity in 2006. The SolarCity “gigafactory” is to be constructed in Buffalo, New York which will be the largest solar plant in the U.S. Elon has also considered producing glass solar roof tiles that are intended to last longer than normal roof tiles. Tesla has grown as the leading electric car manufacturer and the fourth most valuable automotive company in the world.  

Elon Musk’s founding of SpaceX in 2002 has led to rockets that are reusable.  Musk ultimately wants to commercialize space travel and colonize Mars in order to avoid the inevitable extinction of humankind on earth. In February 2018, SpaceX successfully launched the most powerful operational rocket in the world, “The Falcon Heavy.” As part of the test launch, they sent a Tesla vehicle into space which is currently orbiting the earth.

Elon also founded the Boring Company in 2016, which plans to create an underground urban transportation system. The system will allow pedestrians, cyclists, and cars to be transported on electronic skates at speeds over 125mph. His main focus centers on pedestrians and cyclists although he mentions, “The company will still transport cars, but only after all personalized mass transit needs are met. It’s a matter of courtesy & fairness. If someone can’t afford a car, they should go first.” The plan consists of an underground, autonomous, and electric bus that automatically switches between tunnels and lifts. Its electric skate will allow for increased speeds of 125-150 miles per hour, increased safety, and multiple payloads. Musk is planning for thousands of small stations with the size of a single parking space that takes you near your destination and blends seamlessly into the fabric of a city, rather than a small number of large stations like a subway. Currently, Boring Company is building a 2 mile long test tunnel under their headquarters in Hawthorne, California.

Musk believes that artificial intelligence can be very dangerous to the human race. He says that if a group of people develop and elevate its status to a godlike digital superintelligence, AI can take over the world. He has also given a hypothetical scenario in which AI could potentially interfere with airplanes and messages, and ultimately set the world for another world war. Musk also believes that humans should merge with AI to avoid the risk of becoming irrelevant. Due to these beliefs, he is now the co-founder of Neuralink, which is a company that aims to make devices to treat serious brain diseases, with the goal of human enhancement.



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