In recent years, Elon Musk has become a household name. In discussions ranging from politics to aliens, Musk’s name will often make an appearance. Almost anyone knows that he’s the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, two of today’s most talked-about companies, but there’s more to Musk than meets the eye. Here are eight surprising facts about the man everyone thinks they know.
1. Musk isn’t the only prodigy in his family
Surely Musk has made his mother proud, but he’s not the only one in the family doing big things. Musk has two siblings: his sister Tosca is an acclaimed filmmaker, and his brother Kimbal is a philanthropist and restauranteur. In fact, Musk’s first-ever company, Zip2, was initially a joint project he started with his brother Kimbal.
2. Musk got severely bullied growing up
Musk grew up in South Africa where, not shockingly, he was a self-described introverted child. Despite his ultimate success, little Elon was the target of bullying throughout school. At one time he was even hospitalized for injuries inflicted on him by his tormentors. It just goes to show that the quiet, seemingly passive ones can rise above their circumstances and grow up to be the big CEOs.
3. Musk wants to die on Mars
One of Musk’s many dreams for the future of technology is the exploration and possible colonization of Mars. He’s said that he wants to participate in a Mars mission and notes that the likelihood of his return would be slim. In a keynote address in which he discussed the possibility of visiting Mars, Musk once remarked, “I’d like to die on Mars. Just not on impact.”
4. Musk dropped out of Stanford after two days
As soon as he left Stanford University, he founded his first company, which helped provide directories and maps to periodicals. Later, after it sold for over $300 million, Musk went on to found and run numerous other successful businesses. It just goes to show, sometimes quitting pays off.
5. Musk’s been in movies and on TV
In addition to having made a brief cameo appearance in Iron Man 2, Musk has received credit for inspiring the persona of Tony Stark. Musk has also ended up in guest spots in shows like The Big Bang Theory and The Simpsons.
6. Musk is a huge fan of comic books
Elon Musk has been a comic book enthusiast since childhood. It perhaps shouldn’t come as a surprise that his favorites seem to involve the themes about robots, space travel, hovercrafts and giant machine-monsters. In fact, Elon even named his son Xavier after a leading character in Marvel’s X-Men series.
One thing’s clear about Elon Musk: he’s not like the rest of the mere mortals. From founding numerous, ground-breaking companies to designing the technology that will define the future, Musk is sure to be at the center of discussion for ages to come.