Is Elon Musk African American? A Background Check

As an entrepreneur and businessman, Elon Musk is known for his futuristic plans and endeavors. He became popular in 2012 when his Company (SpaceX) launched the first space commercial vehicle. Since then, he has grown his portfolio and became one of the richest men in the world.

Many people have tons of questions about Elon Musk. But the one most popular of all questions is Elon’s ethnic background. Is he an American or African American? These and many more you’ll discover in this post.

This post exposes Elon Musk’s background, education, and accomplishments

But first, let’s address the confusion.

Is Elon Musk African American?

No, Elon Musk is not an African American. The word “African American” mainly consists of Americans with ancestry from descendants of enslaved Africans. However, some black immigrants may also identify as African American.

Elon Musk is a citizen of South Africa, Canada, and America. He also has British and Pennsylvania Dutch ancestry.

In 1971, he was born in South Africa to a South African father and a Canadian mother. He spent his childhood in South Africa before moving to Canada as a teen. Elon Musk lived with his father after his parents divorced when he was 10. 

He came into the U.S. through his Ph.D. program and became a U.S. citizen in 2002. 

Are you ready to learn more about Elon Musk? Keep reading!

Elon Musk’s Educational Background

Musk received his early and high school education in Pretoria, South Africa. He left for Canada in 1989 at 17 to avoid mandatory military service in South Africa. He got his citizenship that year and attended Queen’s University in Ontario, Canada.

Musk left Queen’s University after two years and transferred to the University of Pennsylvania, where he studied Economics and Physics. He got a bachelor’s degree in Economics and another bachelor’s degree in Physics. He continued his education through a Ph.D. in Applied Physics.

In 1995, he got into Stanford University in California, which was around the same time the internet started to gain popularity. He left Stanford after two days to launch his first company that same year.

Which Companies Did Elon Musk Start?

Musk was a founder, co-founder, or CEO of some companies through his journey as an entrepreneur. Here are the companies.


Elon Musk co-founded the company with his brother in 1995. That was around the same period when he moved to California to continue his education. But he chose to pursue a business path. It was a web software company.

The Zip2 software is an online city guide, which became useful to online newspapers like Chicago Tribune and The New York Times. Compaq (the computer manufacturing company) bought Zip2 in 1999 for $307 million. 

In 1999, Musk founded, an online banking services company. Later in 2000, merged with Confinity (a software company) to form PayPal (a platform that transfers money online). eBay acquired the company for $1.5 billion in 2002.

However, Musk left the company before eBay bought it. But he got $180 million in stock.


In 2002, Musk founded the Space Exploration Technologies Corporation (SpaceX) with $100 million. It’s a space travel company, and he is currently the CEO and Chief Technology Officer (CTO).

Musk got several contracts with the U.S. Air Force and NASA through SpaceX. It involves designing rockets and making efforts to send astronauts to Mars. He aims to make space travel cheaper, so it can be affordable to colonize Mars.

SpaceX is notable for reusable rockets, satellites that provide internet connectivity on Earth, and space tourism.

Falcon 9 rocket made its first launch in 2012. And the spaceship was uncrewed, with a thousand pounds of supplies for astronauts in the International Space Station.

Another major feat by the company was in December 2013, when a Falcon 9 launched successfully again. This time it took a satellite to an orbital path that’s similar to the Earth’s rotation.

The third launch in 2015 consists of a Deep Space Climate Observatory satellite that the Falcon 9 carried into space. It aimed to monitor the sun emissions that affect communication systems and power grids on Earth.

In 2017, SpaceX made the first successful reusable rocket launch. It included the test flight and landing of a Falcon 9, which was the beginning of realizing its goal for affordable space travel.

Later that year (2017), an explosion of the Block 5 Merlin engine occurred during a test. But that didn’t stop the resilient progress of the company. And it achieved yet another feat in 2018 by achieving the Falcon Heavy rocket’s test launch.

SpaceX built the Falcon Heavy to serve as a spacecraft for deep space missions and carry large payloads. It carried a payload of the Tesla Roadster fitted with cameras during the test launch.

There was yet another successful landing in 2018. The new Block 5 Falcon rocket landed on a drone ship about 9 minutes after launch.

The SpaceX satellite network (Starlink) also started. In March 2018, the U.S. government permitted SpaceX to launch satellites for internet connectivity into low orbit. It aimed to help rural areas access broadband service and increase competition for internet service providers.

The company launched 120 satellites in two batches in 2019. It launched the first batch of 60 satellites in May and the remaining satellites in November. Additionally, it made huge progress for Starlink, with the potential for more satellites to launch.

However, this progress became a major concern for astronomers. They feel that these bright satellites in the night sky may make it harder to study space objects.

Musk continues in his plans to launch cargo missions to Mars with an updated design plan for the Big Falcon Rocket (BFR). The spaceship should be able to carry at least a hundred people.


In 2004, Elon Musk contributed $70 million to the startup, which Marc Tarpenning and Martin Eberhard (both engineers) founded. He became the product architect and chairman and later the CEO in 2008. The company is an electric vehicle manufacturer.

Musk made essential contributions towards designing the Tesla Roadster (the first electric car by Tesla). The sports car can accelerate up to 60 mph in 3.7 seconds. It uses a rechargeable lithium-ion battery and can travel 250 miles between charges.

Tesla went public in June 2010 and raised $226 million in its initial public offering (IPO).

In 2012, the company began its production of the Model S (an electric sedan). The electric car is capable of traveling 265 miles between charges. The Motor Trend Magazine named it the Car of the Year in 2013. The car also set a speed record at Laguna Seca Raceway in California in 2019.

The company began production of the Model 3 in 2018. He also achieved his goal of producing 5000 Model 3 cars per week in June 2018, after extensive delays.

In 2019, Tesla launched the Model 3, and the initial price was $35,000, as opposed to the initial price point for the Model S ($58,570). That made it more accessible than the Model X and S electric sedans.

Musk unveiled the new Tesla Semi and Roadster in November 2017 at Tesla’s design studio. The semi-truck could travel 500 miles, and the motors and battery last for a million miles. The production, which was to begin in 2019, was delayed.

The Model Y, which Musk unveiled in March 2019, was available for sale in 2020. The car is a compact crossover with a 300 miles range that can accelerate up to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds.

Musk plans to release the Roadster with a 60 mph time of 1.9 seconds.


Elon Musk helped his cousins (Lydon and Peter Rive) start a solar energy company (SolarCity Corp.) in 2006. The company is now a subsidiary of Tesla, as Tesla Motors Inc. made an all-stock deal purchase. Musk remains a major shareholder in both Tesla and SolarCity.

SolarCity is a clean-energy-services company and produces solar panels shaped like roof shingles. The company also produces two rechargeable solar batteries. One for home and non-commercial use, while the other for commercial uses, both for stationary energy storage.


Musk co-founded the Company in December 2015. And it was a non-profit artificial intelligence research laboratory aimed at promoting friendly artificial intelligence. It also prioritizes safety and transparency as it works towards building a human intelligence machine.

However, he resigned from the board in February 2018. And he’s still one of the highest donors. OpenAI released a powerful test generation of artificial intelligence in June 2020. The commercial product trained with trillions of words from the internet is a useful tool to businesses.


Elon Musk co-founded the company in 2016. It’s a neurotechnology company that develops an implantable brain-computer interface.

Neuralink’s initial plans were to use neurotechnology to help people with paralysis. It plans to improve the ability to communicate through speech and text using tech.

The Boring Company (TBC): 

Musk started the company in 2017. And it’s a tunnel construction company aimed at building tunnels to reduce street traffic. He did a test dig in Los Angeles on the SpaceX property.

The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority handed TBC a $48.7 million contract in 2019. The contract was to build an underground loop system at the Las Vegas Convention Center.


Elon Musk is a South African with British and Pennsylvania Dutch ancestry. He’s also an American and Canadian citizen. However, he lived his childhood days in South Africa. And he moved to Canada to further his education. Finally, he moved to America.

His companies center on areas with crucial benefits to the future like space colonization, renewable energy, and transport.

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