Elon Musk Is Trending For Receiving A Controversial Honor

By Erika Hanson | 1 month ago

Elon Musk

The richest man in the world had one of his biggest years yet in 2021. The year saw Elon Musk reclaim his leading title among billionaires, launch his first mission to space via SpaceX, and elevate his electric car company to the top of the industry. From a personal standpoint, the visionary entrepreneur led headlines with his gig hosting Saturday Night Live and his eccentric relationship to singer and mother of his youngest child, Grimes. So what do you gift the richest man in the world after such a busy year? Well, if you’re Time Magazine, you award him with the title of Person of the Year.

Earlier today, Time magazine unveiled via live stream this year’s picks for their coveted end-of-year awards. While it was singer Olivia Rodrigo and gymnast Simone Biles that clinched the tiles for Entertainer of the Year and Athlete of the Year respectively, the controversial Elon Musk scored the prestigious title topping the list as Person of the Year. Editor-in-chief Edward Falsenthal described Musk as someone “with extraordinary influence on life on Earth, and potentially life off Earth, too.”

Elon Musk grew up no stranger to wealth. Born in Pretoria, South Africa in 1971, his father was an electromechanical engineer. At a young age, Musk developed his interest in computer programming. By the age of 12, he had already mastered basic code and sold his first created video game for $500. After attaining numerous degrees, Musk joined the internet boom with the founding of his first business venture in Zip2, and his instrumental work creating a company that would become the world’s largest online payment system, Paypal.

SpaceX launch

As notable as Elon Musk’s early accomplishment were, his most recent endeavors with both Tesla and SpaceX are truly what throttled the charismatic CEO to his success, and ultimately led to becoming Person of the Year. Time remarked that “at a time of rising protest over ever-deepening inequality, our lives and many of the basic structures around them are now shaped by the pursuits, products and priorities of the world’s wealthiest people.” Musk can certainly check off all those categories. Earlier this year, Elon Musk told Insider that he planned to sell off most of his possessions to earn as much capital as possible to fund his plans for a future Mars colony. Just last week, the entrepreneur proved to remain true to his promise as he sold off his last remaining property.

Time magazine also went on to describe Elon Musk as the “madcap hybrid” of Thomas Edison, P.T. Barnum, Andrew Carnegie, and Watchmen’s Doctor Manhattan. Similarly, Musk is often compared to the late Apple founder, Steve Jobs. And as Jobs himself was famously quoted in his 1997 “Think Different” ad for Apple, “Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels… Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.” Musk is in some ways the current incarnation of Jobs. The billionaire has certainly gotten his fair share of gripe from naysayers. When Elon Musk started promoting his Mars colonization plans that stem from what he calls an inevitable population collapse, people like Senator Bernie Sanders slammed the billionaire. In the onslaught Twitter battle, Musk hilariously jabbed back at the Senator doubling down on the firm ideals that he isn’t in the business of making himself richer.

As Elon Musk continues his battle to prove he’s doing what he does in an effort to benefit all of mankind, and possibly save it, his newfound title will surely put him at the center of many discussions over the coming weeks. Musk follows a long line of recipients, including last years winners President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris.