The Longer Read

The ex factor: the very complex love life of Elon Musk

A new biography of the tech tycoon delves deep into his relationships with women, writes Stephen Armstrong – and offers a fascinating insight into the dark forces that drive the world’s richest man

Monday 18 September 2023 18:27
<p>Elon Musk has been compared by his biographer to Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. But who is he really? </p>

Elon Musk has been compared by his biographer to Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. But who is he really?

Elon Musk by Walter Isaacson was finally published this week, allowing the world to gain an insight into the mind of the man who controls Ukraine’s battlefield communications and Nasa’s satellite programme, and who dreams of an electric vehicle future and populating the moon.

Isaacson is an experienced journalist – he edited Time magazine for five years – and has written much-lauded biographies of Einstein, Henry Kissinger, Leonardo da Vinci and even Steve Jobs. He spent two years shadowing Musk, speaking to friends and family, ex-partners and former colleagues. He delves into Musk’s average grades, his conviction that he was “born for war”, his struggle for emotional connection and his many personas.

Isaacson told one interviewer: “There’s no single Elon Musk. He has many personalities. Almost multiple personalities. And you can watch him go from being very giddy and funny, to being deeply in engineering mode. And then, suddenly the dark cloud happens. It’s almost like Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.”

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