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Musk's year of dizzying ascent reached its apex Monday as he surpassed Microsoft founder Bill Gates as the world's second-richest person.
After another surge in Tesla's share price, the net worth of 49-year-old billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk reached $127.9 billion, up to $7.2 billion from most recent calculations.
This year alone, during an unprecedented global pandemic caused by COVID-19, Musk's wealth rose over $100 billion, the most of any human on the planet, catapulting him from the 35th richest person in January to the second richest person, according to Bloomberg Billionaires index.
His wealth accumulation is primarily driven by electric automobile manufacturer Tesla, whose market value hit $500 billion Thursday after shares rallied. His Tesla shares are four times the value of his Space Exploration Technologies Corp, or SpaceX shares, and comprise three-quarters of his wealth.
Bill Gates had previously been removed from the top of the billionaire's list by Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos in 2017, who now tops the list with $181.4 billion.
Musk has come under considerable criticism not only for statements on the November 2019 lithium coup in Bolivia in which he stated, "We will coup whoever we want," but for his expressed suspicion of COVID-19 pandemic data, his embracement of unfounded conspiracy theories, and his hefty donations to top Republican congressional PACs.
Today: *Stock market hit record high of 30,000 *Elon Musk became first person to gain $100B in 1 year. 400 richest people got $1.3T richer in pandemic *Record 155,000 infections & record 85,000 hospitalizations *Census: 6 million people face imminent eviction
This year has been a particularly lucrative year for the world's billionaires, as they've amassed $1.2 trillion in collective wealth, or a 23% total gain, despite the pandemic and a global economic depression having disproportionately impacted the poor and working class.
Particularly those in the electric vehicle industry have seen the wealth soar in 2020, as Chinese businessmen Zeng Yuqun and Huang Shilin, Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the Chinese battery maker Contemporary Amperex Technology Co, have similarly amassed $18.8 billion year-to-date, according to the Bloomberg index.