Tesla Motors is riding high right now.
Its Model S sedan is among the safest cars on the road. Its Supercharger network is rapidly expanding across the country.
In 2013, it was the most searched automaker on Google.
At the helm is CEO Elon Musk, the South African-born self-made billionaire who is also the CEO of private space venture SpaceX, the chairman of sustainable energy company SolarCity, and the father of five young boys.
Musk is the inspiration for the Tony Stark character of the “Iron Man” movies. He knows how to have a good time when he’s on top, and doesn’t hold back when he’s criticised.
Elon Musk is America’s most badass CEO, and these photos prove it.
Elon Musk is the American dream. Born in South Africa, Musk moved to Canada and then the United States.
Musk's first big success was PayPal, which he helped create. eBay bought the company for $US1.5 billion in 2002.
After making a fortune selling PayPal, he didn't just quit to take things easy, he launched A PRIVATE SPACE COMPANY.
Oh, and because cars and space aren't enough, Musk is also involved with SolarCity, a solar energy company.
This summer, Musk revealed the Hyperloop, his idea for a transportation system that could send people from San Francisco to Los Angeles in half an hour, using pressurised tubes. Then he said he'd build a prototype himself if no one else does.
He spent $US1 million to buy the Lotus submarine car used in the 1977 James Bond film 'The Spy Who Loved Me.' And no one was shocked when he explained, 'What I'm going to do is upgrade it with a Tesla electric powertrain and try to make it transform for real.'
He hangs out with his younger brother Kimbal (right), a co-founder of nutritious food non-profit The Kitchen Community.
He shared a laugh with California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda at a press conference announcing Toyota would take a $US50 million stake in Tesla.
Look at the grin on the Toyota CEO's face when he's sitting in a Tesla Roadster given to him by Musk.
On June 14, 2012, Musk celebrated the first successful mission by a private space company to deliver supplies to the International Space Station.
The next day, he spoke at the commencement ceremony at the California Institute of Technology. Students probably actually listened.
Though Musk says he's naturally shy, he's become a master showman, making his innovations all the more appealing.
When he got annoyed with terrible traffic on California's I-405, he contributed $US50,000 to an advocacy group working to improve the freeway.
He took the opportunity to mock former presidential contender Mitt Romney, who called Tesla a loser during the campaign. Romney 'was right about the object of that statement,' Musk said, 'but not the subject.'
He goes to war against the media: When the New York Times ran a bad review of the Model S in February, Musk produced data from the test drive and said the article was 'fake.'
People are always interested in what he has to say. He spoke at South by Southwest in Austin this year.
He knows how to celebrate a victory -- here he is at the Tesla factory when it started delivering the Model S.
He laughs off the competition. When asked in August by a Morgan Stanley analyst for his thoughts on BMW's electric i3, he giggled for a good 10 seconds before saying, 'I really do encourage other manufacturers to bring electric cars to market.'
At the end of 2008, he fought through a near nervous breakdown to keep both Tesla and SpaceX alive when both nearly went bankrupt simultaneously. Rather than save one and let one die, he split all his remaining money between them, taking a risk and saving both.
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