Musk has been open about his difficult childhood, discussing it most recently in last Sunday's "60 Minutes" interview. While he attended grade school in Pretoria, South Africa, Musk was not only the youngest and smallest kid in his class, but he was nerdier and much more into books than many jocks at school.
In Ashlee Vance's 2015 book "Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future," Musk said gangs of boys at would sometimes hunt him down, going so far as to push him down a flight of stairs in one instance and send him to the hospital. "I was almost beaten to death," he added on "60 Minutes."
The bullying continued until he was 15 years old, when went through a growth spurt and learned how to defend himself by doing karate, judo and wrestling. By 16, he said he was "dishing it out as hard as they'd give it to me."