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Real Life Tony Stark: What You Need To Know About Elon Musk

May 03, 2016 12:26 PM EDT

We all know the philanthropic projects of this man, inlcuding SpaceX and Tesla. All of these wouldn't be possible without businessman, creator and engineer, Elon Musk. He is the brains (and the pocket) behind these projects, which are currently busy building electric cars and rocket ships. But who really is Elon Musk? Robert Downey Jr. has repeatedly mentioned Musk as role inspiration for Iron Man's alter ego. Could Musk really be the real-life Tony Stark?

1. He grew up in South Africa

Elon is a South-African Canadian-American born in South Africa in 1971. At age 10 he already purchased his very own old school computer. Musk managed to impress everyone with his aptitude when he made his first software by 12 years old, it's a game called Blastas.

He moved to Canada and the U.S. to study economics, physics and other fields of expertise proving Musk's above average intellect.

2. His Mom was a supermodel

Maye Musk started modeling in Africa at age 15. And at 68, she still got what it takes. She was recently featured on Vogue Italia, as reported by the New York Post. In 2010 she posed nude in Time magazine, she was also a cover girl of Elle Canada in 2012 and last month she signed with IMG whose high-profile clients include Gigi Hadid.

Elon Musk must have gotten those looks from his supermodel mom.

3. He became a millionaire at age 20.

According to the rise of the Musk Empire started when he sold his start-up Zip2. And with probably a foresight of industries to thrive in his future, he founded SpaceX in 2002 and Tesla Motors in 2003. Today, his projects are almost always the talk of every town. Musk is always present in the biggest press conferences, car launching and even in space exploration conferences. It's impossible not to hear, read and see Musk everywhere these days.

4. He also founded Paypal

His first company was, an online financial services provider which evolved into the company we know today as Paypal. Ebay acquired PayPal for $1.5 billion in stock.

5. Musk built SpaceX for commercial space exploration

With too much intensity and drive to create, he funded Space Exploration Technologies Corporation (SpaceX). In 2008 he gained the green light from NASA to transport cargo to the International Space Station.

Today SpaceX has moved on to bigger space exploration ventures including the creation of rockets like Falcon 9 which is capable of carrying 50,265 lbs (22,800 kilograms) of weight to low earth orbit and 18,300 lbs (8,300 kg) to geosynchronous transfer orbit, according to an article by

6. Tesla and Renewable Energy

Elon Musk has the whole world anticipating the release of his latest Model 3. This company was founded by Musk in line with his penchant for finding new sources of clean or renewable energy. Aside from his electric car, he is firm in using clean energy even with his Gigafactory and his latest air cleaning system called HEPA filters which they claim can clean the air inside and outside the new Tesla Cars.

7. As you probably know by now, Elon Musk is a genius and a visionary.

With his unfaltering hopes in finding new sources of clean and renewable energy, and his fondness for space technology, a lot of people can conclude that the way his mind works is definitely above average. Because of his visions, other high-profile intellects such as Bill Gates are partnering with Musk to pursue their visions.

It wouldn't be a surprise if the character of Tony Stark was indeed modelled after the businessman, Elon Musk. Who knows, with his acumen, connections, not to mention his millions, people wouldn't be surprised if he has his own Iron Man suit in his basement. After all, he was once called the Thomas Edison of our Time and the World's Raddest Man.

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