Elon Musk’s mother Maye has posted a picture of the Tesla and SpaceX tycoon as a baby as he celebrates his 50th birthday.
Elon Musk, who was born in Pretoria, South Africa, in 1971, has become one of the wealthiest people in the world thanks to the value of his electric car company Tesla. He has an estimated net worth of around $184bn (£132bn).
His fans are suggesting celebrating his birthday by trying to drive up the price of meme cryptocurrency Dogecoin to $0.50. Earlier this year Dogecoin surged to a record valuation, partially driven by Mr Musk, and is now valued at approximately £0.18 per coin.
The billionaire responded to his mother’s public message on Twitter, which encouraged his fans to get the #HappyBirthdayElonMusk hashtag trending, with the red loveheart emoji.Musk made his first millions when he sold his software company Zip2 in 1999, and then more than $100m (£71m) with the sale of PayPal, of which he was the largest shareholder owning just over 11%, to eBay in 2002.
His antics on Twitter have repeatedly brought him criticism and acclaim. Last year about $13bn (£10bn) was wiped from the company’s market cap when he tweeted that the company’s “stock price is too high”.
It led to a fraud case by the US Securities and Exchange Commission, which Mr Musk settled by agreeing to pay $20m (£16m) and have a Tesla lawyer pre-screen tweets with important information about the company. Earlier this month the watchdog accused of Musk of violating that settlement.
He said he did not know when Tesla could resume production in California and called the state’s stay-at-home order a “serious risk” to the business.
Back in 2019, the billionaire won a defamation case brought against him by Vernon Unsworth during the July 2018 Thailand cave rescue for calling the British caving expert a “pedo guy”.
Mr Unsworth was left feeling “humiliated, ashamed” by the tweet from Musk, a federal court in California heard.
Mr Musk’s lawyers argued it was no more than a playground insult and did not represent a genuine allegation of paedophilia.
The Briton, who helped in the rescue of 12 boys and their football coach last year, had angered the Tesla boss by calling his effort to help a “PR stunt”.
Mr Musk had sent a mini submarine to the site – which was never used – but Mr Unsworth said the entrepreneur should “stick his submarine where it hurts”.