The Children of Elon Musk: From Estranged to Inseparable

How many children does Elon Musk have? Why is he motivated to have so many?

Renowned biographer Walter Isaacson shadowed Elon Musk for two years, gaining access to his thoughts and those of the people closest to him. Isaacson found that one child is nearly inseparable from Musk while another wants nothing to do with him.

Read more to learn about the children of Elon Musk.

The Children of Elon Musk

In total, as of this book’s publication, the children of Elon Musk number 11. Six are with his first wife, Justine Musk, three are with his partner Grimes, and two are with business executive Shivon Zilis for whom he served as a genetic donor.

Musk’s first child, Nevada, died in 2002 from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. His first child with Grimes—a boy named X—was born in 2020 and was almost inseparable from Musk during the time that Isaacson spent with him. According to Isaacson, Musk is very vocal about the need to keep population numbers up to preserve human consciousness in the face of growing artificial intelligence and that he’s just doing his part to maintain the species.

(Shortform note: Isaacson doesn’t present the counterpoint to Musk’s fears—namely, that population growth is unsustainable. In Thank You for Being Late, Thomas Friedman explains that population growth is a driver of climate change and poverty, as more and more people consume even more resources while the global economy can’t provide enough jobs to keep up with demand. In Apocalypse Never, Michael Shellenberger offers the optimistic prospect that advances in energy technology, such as those that Musk is working on, will allow populations to urbanize, stabilize, and hopefully recede to a healthy, sustainable level. Whether Musk would see that as a good thing is questionable, given how Isaacson frames Musk’s population fears.) 

The only child with whom Musk’s relationship is strained is his transgender daughter Jenna, who Isaacson reports has disavowed her connection with Musk due to her perception of his anti-transgender views and because of her anti-capitalist political beliefs.

(Shortform note: Jenna legally changed her name and gender in June 2022, when she also took her mother’s maiden name Wilson to further disassociate herself from her father. Jenna’s mother, Justine, came out in support of her daughter’s transition on Twitter shortly after. According to the Pew Research Center, a majority of Americans support transgender rights, especially those in younger demographics. Likewise, polls show that Millennials and Jenna’s cohort, Gen Z, hold increasingly negative views of capitalism, more so than those of Musk’s generation and before.)

The Children of Elon Musk: From Estranged to Inseparable

Elizabeth Whitworth

Elizabeth has a lifelong love of books. She devours nonfiction, especially in the areas of history, theology, and philosophy. A switch to audiobooks has kindled her enjoyment of well-narrated fiction, particularly Victorian and early 20th-century works. She appreciates idea-driven books—and a classic murder mystery now and then. Elizabeth has a blog and is writing a book about the beginning and the end of suffering.

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