Elon Musk’s father says that his son’s ambition is due to the austere education he received: “I was a strict father” | People | The USA Print

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He is a successful business man, but his life has been full of shadows, especially during his childhood. In the book Elon Musk: The entrepreneur who anticipates the futurepublished in 2015 and written by the journalist Ashlee Vance in collaboration with the protagonist, reveals some of the problems that Elon Musk went through during his childhood, such as what he suffered bullying at school. Also that his father, Errol Musk, emotionally abused him. The same man who has now revealed more details about his childhood.

The father of the billionaire founder of Tesla has granted an interview to the AFP agency in which he explained that he educated his children Elon, Kimbal and Tosca in austerity, instilling in them from a young age the rigor and discipline he learned in the army. “I was a strict father. My word was law, ”he says, assuring that the ambition of his son fed on this education with a deliberately macho touch. “It was our way of being. We strive to give the best of ourselves,” says the 76-year-old father. “It’s kind of our brand.”

Son of this engineer and real estate developer and the Canadian model Maye Musk, Elon Musk was born in 1971 in the South African city of Pretoria. Like many other young people of his generation, he left South Africa to avoid military service at the height of the racial segregation regime of the apartheid. Before leaving the country and after the divorce of his parents, he grew up mainly with his father, who remarried a woman named Heidi who had three children, Harry, Jock and Jana; later, he divorced Heidi. But, in 2017, Elon Musk distanced himself from his father after he had a son with Jana, the daughter of his ex-wife Heidi, who is 42 years younger than him. “Elon didn’t like this. I take life as it comes”, says the father now, assuring that over time their relationship has improved. “We have affection for each other,” he notes. “I always think about what it was like with my own father. He was a military man, we spoke little. At Sunday lunch, I’d say ‘good morning, dad’ and he’d go off to do his crossword puzzles.” His relationship with his son “isn’t that different,” he acknowledges.

There are constant controversies around the businessman, especially after his intention to buy Twitter was made public. But his father claims that his son was always peculiar. “He was a cunning and reckless young man who butted into adult conversations. At the age of four he was already listening to stories about politics and business”, he says. “One day, Elon announced that when he grew up he would be a millionaire,” recalls his father, who assures that an adult replied that he was going to be disappointed. “Elon’s reaction was to say, ‘Wow! I think you’re stupid.’ Typical Elon,” he says. “It is the nature of him to tell people the truth, without filter.”

Elon Musk with his mother, Maye, at the 2017 Oscar party hosted by 'Vanity Fair' magazine.
Elon Musk with his mother, Maye, at the 2017 Oscar party hosted by ‘Vanity Fair’ magazine.Taylor Hill (Getty Images)

She has also recalled a hurtful comment her son made to a classmate whose father had committed suicide. “The boy threw him down the stairs and Elon had to be hospitalized,” she says. “When I heard what Elon had said to him, I realized that he had crossed the limits,” she says, not wanting to reveal more details of the incident. Still, she describes him as “the kindest” of his offspring. “He is very attentive. He truly believes it when he says that he wants to save humanity. It’s not a slogan.” The last time she saw him, he admits, was six years ago, for his 70th birthday.

With his mother, Maye Musk, Elon has a much closer relationship. In fact, she was her companion at the last edition of the New York Metropolitan Museum gala. A model since the age of 15, she was famous long before her son. She married Errol Musk in 1970, with whom she had, in addition to Elon Musk, two other children in common: restaurant entrepreneur Kimbal Musk, 49, and film producer Tosca Musk, 47. After nine years of marriage, they divorced. Now, at 74, he has become a style icon and continues to grace magazine covers. One of the most recent, that of the latest edition of the bathroom issue of Sports Illustrated unveiled last May.


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