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This one is bound to start controversy

Time magazine named Tesla CEO and SpaceX founder Elon Musk as its 2021 Person of the Year. This year, Musk became the first person ever to be worth more than $300 billion. Time’s editor-in-chief Edward Felsenthal explained the decision to pick the richest man on Earth, was based on his potential to be this year’s most influential person. 

Last year, Time named Joe Biden and Kamala Harris the people of the year. Past recipients have included Donald Trump, Jeff Bezos, Barack Obama, and Mark Zuckerberg.

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“Person of the Year is a marker of influence, and few individuals have had more influence than Musk on life on Earth, and potentially life off Earth too,” Felsenthal wrote. “In 2021, Musk emerged not just as the world’s richest person but also as perhaps the richest example of a massive shift in our society.” 

Felsenthal went on to explain how Musk stands out in a group of rich entrepreneurs that shape the lives of many, especially during the pandemic. Over this past year, he discussed plans for Tesla to build a humanoid robot and aims to have a prototype ready by next year. All at the same time, Tesla turned into a trillion-dollar company over the last year.

Other than Tesla, SpaceX is one of Musk’s most known and impressive companies that Musk has contributed to. Musk launched an all-civilian, non-astronaut crew to space in September, opening the doors for more “everyday people” to do the same. 

“We don’t yet know how fully Tesla, SpaceX, and the ventures Musk has yet to think up will change our lives,” Felsenthal said. “At 50, he has plenty of time to write the future, his own and ours. Like it or not, we are now in Musk’s world.”

This has also been a big year for Musk as far as grabbing headlines. Musk revealed he has Asperger’s when he hosted “Saturday Night Live” in May. He’s also been blamed for causing a crypto crash and sold $5 billion worth of Tesla stock after a Twitter poll to him 66 million followers. Towards the end of the year, he and singer/songwriter Grimes announced that they were ” semi-separated.” 

While Musk’s selection drew praise from his admirers, many have also acknowledged that his “legacy” has been built on him being anti-union, and many dislike his immense wealth, opposition to tax hikes, and approach to addressing climate change.

Despite all of the drama and major headlines, in his Times interview, he shared that he has grand plans for humanity and his work won’t stop here. So I guess there’s a lot more to look forward to from one of the world’s richest men.