Elon Musk surpasses Bezos as ‘world’s richest person’
Estimates indicate Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos regained top spot briefly – but the Tesla boss has leapfrogged him to first place for the second time since Friday. Tesla shares fell by nearly eight percent on Monday, causing a decline in Mr Musk’s net worth by $13.5 billion – to $176.2 billion, Forbes notes.
But he has returned to top spot after Tesla shares rebounded on Tuesday.
Since March 2020, his shares have risen by around $160 billion – from $24.6 billion.
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos had held top spot on the Forbes rich list since 2017.
Tesla’s value has surged this year, hitting a market value of $700bn (£516bn) for the first time last week.
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Mr Musk responded to news that he had topped the rich list in trademark style, writing “How strange”.
The SpaceX and Tesla entrepreneur, who is known for working up to 17 hours a day, added: “Well, back to work…”
Mr Musk, who served as an inspiration for Robert Downey Jr’s Iron Man, is also the founder of The Boring Company, and cofounder of OpenAI and Neuralink.
The South African launched the SpaceX Mars program to facilitate the eventual colonisation of Mars.
In 2018, he told followers on Twitter of how intends to use his wealth.
Mr Musk wrote: “You should ask why I would want money.
“The reason is not what you think. Very little time for recreation. Don’t have vacation homes or yachts or anything like that.
“About half my money is intended to help problems on Earth, and half to help establish a self-sustaining city on Mars to ensure continuation of life (of all species) in case Earth gets hit by a meteor like the dinosaurs or WW3 happens and we destroy ourselves.”
In November, he was asked how life on Mars may develop.
A user asked: “When people arrived on Mars, would the planet already be terraformed or would people have another way created by SpaceX to survive on the red planet?”
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Musk responded: “Life in glass domes at first. Eventually, terraformed to support life, like Earth.”
LVMH’s Bernard Arnault and family are third on Forbes’ rich list with an estimated fortune of $151.4billion.
In fourth place is Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, who has amassed a wealth of $121.6billion.
Mr Musk has said he is “highly confident” SpaceX will launch people toward Mars in 2026.
But he believes the milestone could be reached as early as 2024 “if we get lucky.”
He would like to send a million people to Mars by 2050.
Mr Musk has previously shared some of the literature which helped inspire his great success.
The list includes Walter Isaacson’s ‘Einstein: His Life and Universe’ and ‘Structures: Or Why Things Don’t Fall Down’ by J.E. Gordon.
He also lists a classic of the British classroom: ‘Lord of the Flies’ by William Golding.
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