Elon Musk (born June 28, 1971) is a South African-American engineer, entrepreneur and philanthropist best known for co-founding PayPal, SpaceX and Tesla Motors. He is currently the CEO and CTO of SpaceX, CEO and Product Architect of Tesla Motors and Chairman of SolarCity. According to Jon Favreau, director of the Iron Man movies, Musk is the inspiration for his and Robert Downey Jr.'s interpretation of Tony Stark.
Musk was born and raised in South Africa, the son of a South African engineer and a Canadian mother who worked as a New York City dietitian and model. Musk bought his first computer at age 10 and taught himself how to program; by the age of 12 he sold his first commercial software for about $500, a space game called Blastar.
After matriculating at Pretoria Boys High School he left home in 1988 at the age of 17, without his parents' support and in part because of the prospect of compulsory service in the South African military: "I don't have an issue with serving in the military per se, but serving in the South African army suppressing black people just didn't seem like a really good way to spend time." He wanted to move to the US, saying: "It is where great things are possible."