Cover SpaceX and Tesla founder Elon Musk is now the richest person in the world. (Photo: Yichuan Cao/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

The SpaceX and Tesla founder overtook Amazon's Jeff Bezos with a fortune of over US$185 billion

Elon Musk is now the world's richest person in the world––surpassing Jeff Bezos who held the world's richest title since 2017. Musk, who is the SpaceX founder and CEO is worth more than US$185 billion with a large part of his fortune from the ongoing increase in the stock price of Tesla, his electric-car company.

Meanwhile, fellow space tycoon, Bezos who owns Blue Origin, a spaceflight company as well as Amazon is worth US$184 billion. According to CNBC, Musk started 2020 with a net worth of US$27 billion but that quickly increased. CNBC called the surge in his fortune "dramatic" especially since the electric vehicle kingpin made headlines 18 months ago due to Tesla's rapid cash burn. Since then, Tesla's share price skyrocketed more than ninefold over the past year, adding US$150 billion to Musk's pocket.

Musk's space company, SpaceX also amassed a fortune in 2020, thanks in part to the two crewed missions to the International Space Station as well as the first orbital human spaceflights to lift off from the U.S. since NASA stopped operations on its space shuttle fleet in 2011. The development of Starship, a transportation system set to take people to the moon, Mars and beyond also contributed to the company's growth. In total, SpaceX launched 26 missions in the past year—the most it has ever done in a year.

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