While it may seem like Elon Musk just up and sprang out of the ground, he, like everyone else, has a mom and a dad. He’s the oldest of three children. His mom, Maye Haldeman Musk is a model and dietitian from Canada, and his dad, Errol Musk is an electromechanical engineer from South Africa.
Elon, whose middle name is Reeve, was born on June 28th, 1971. Musk’s family was wealthy during his youth, and his parents divorced nine years after he was born. He lived with his father, a decision he came to regret.
Three Countries to Call Home
While Elon spent the majority of his youth in South Africa, he and his family were already familiar with moving around the world. His mother was from Canada, though she also spent most of her life in South Africa. Musk was able to obtain Canadian citizenship through his mother in 1989. A little more than a decade after , he also became a United States citizen.
Joshua Haldeman, his maternal grandfather, was an American-born Canadian who took his family on out-of-this-world journeys in single-engine airplanes. Musk is also of British and Pennsylvania Dutch ancestry.
On the Right Side of History
When Musk was a child, his father was elected to the Pretoria City Council as a rep of the anti-apartheid Progressive Party. Elon and his siblings reportedly also shared their father's dislike of apartheid. His siblings were Kimbal, a brother born a year after Elon in 1972, and Tosca, a sister, born in 1974.
Despite aligning with his father on this issue, Elon eventually became estranged from Errol Musk.
Learning the Ropes
While he was growing up, Musk was a voracious reader. He read almost everything he could get his hands on, and it proved to be an incredibly helpful thing. By the age of twelve, he had taught himself computer programming, and he was even able to make money at it from such an early age.
He wrote a simple video game in a BASIC-based language called “Blastar” and sold the code to the computing magazine “PC and Office Technology” for around five hundred dollars. If you want to see what a twelve-year-old future genius can come up with, a version of the game is still available to play online.
The Target of Bullies
We all had our bullies when we were kids, but Musk – reportedly a shy, introverted, nerdy kid – might have had it rougher than all of us. According to his 2015 biography, "Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future”, Musk had to be put in hospital after he was seriously bullied and hurt by a group of boys.
Musk has said that the reason for this assault was opposing the unjust discrimination that were part of apartheid. He scolded people who used ethnical slurs, and he paid for it. Still, he was right in the end.