Elon Musk becomes 2nd richest person on planet, overtakes Bill Gates

Elon Musk becomes 2nd richest person on planet, overtakes Bill Gates

Tesla CEO Elon Musk beat out Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates to become the second-richest person in the world on Tuesday.

Musk’s net worth has grown by an estimated $100 billion since the start of the year, propelling him ahead of Gates for a few hours before settling into a tie, with both fortunes listed at $128 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

Musk’s massive personal fortune comes mostly from owning 20 percent of Tesla and 54 percent of his space transportation company SpaceX.

Earlier this year, the 49-year-old tech pioneer announced that he was going to sell almost all of his “physical possessions” and “own no house,” saying he no longer wanted to be attacked for being a billionaire.

“In recent years, ‘billionaire’ has become a pejorative. It’s like that’s a bad thing,” Musk told podcast host Joe Rogan in May. He has sold and put some of his California properties on the market since then, Forbes reported.

Elon Musk becomes 2nd richest person on planet, overtakes Bill Gates

“I have a bunch of houses, but I don’t spend a lot of time in most of them,” Musk told Rogan. “That doesn’t seem like a good use of assets. Somebody could probably be enjoying those houses and get better use of them than me.”

Gates would still be ahead of Musk if it weren’t for his philanthropic endeavors. Gates and his wife, Melinda, have donated close to $50 billion over the past 25 years, according to the Chronicle of Philanthropy. Musk has given away around $100 million.

Although $54 billion still separates Musk from the No. 1 spot — held by Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, whose fortune is listed at $182 billion — Tesla’s debut on the S&P 500 index next month could narrow that margin. Tesla hit a $500 billion market capitalization for the first time on Tuesday, and Musk’s net worth has jumped nearly $20 billion in just the last week.

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