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Time announced Monday that the world’s richest man, Tesla CEO Elon Musk, is the magazine’s “2021 Person of the Year.”
The article published in Time chronicled everything from the South African entrepreneur’s unusual childhood to his rise to prominence as the founder of Tesla and Space X.
Elon’s mother told Time that Elon exhibited early signs of genius behavior as young as the age of 3, calling him “genius boy.” By the age of 12, Musk had already written code for a video game and sold it for $500 to a computer magazine.
The article also noted some of the great struggles Elon has experienced over the course of his career, such as Tesla nearly going bankrupt during the 2008 recession. Time also presented Musk as a determined overcomer not just in his business practices, but also in his personal life. After turning his company around from the brink of bankruptcy, Musk fought a battle with malaria at 30 years old, a battle that nearly killed him. However, the people who knew him best say that the near-death experience changed Musk, expressing that after having malaria “he seemed to feel an urgency to make more of his time on Earth,” according to Time.
Not everyone is is happy about Time’s choice for “Person of the Year 2021.”
The magazine’s Twitter feed was flooded with criticisms of Musk making the cover.
Many Twitter users were quick to express their dissatisfaction that Musk has been chosen to be featured on the cover of the prestigious magazine.
Critics on Twitter criticized Musk’s wealth and accomplishments; others claimed he was not a fitting choice for the honor this year, suggesting that health care workers or vaccine developers should have been featured on the magazine’s cover.
Other critics claimed that the entrepreneur has done nothing to change the world and is not worthy of the honor. These criticisms come even though Musk has successfully created self-driving electric cars and has successfully created a rocket and gained a contract with NASA to be the first person to put a man on the moon since 1972 through his company SpaceX, according to the New York Times. Musk has also been quite public about his desire to colonize Mars.
Critics on Twitter attempted to paint Musk as a greedy billionaire, while Time described its “Person of the Year” as more politically neutral and as one who has managed to reject party affiliations and maintain a good relationship with Presidents Obama and Trump.