Want to know Maye Musk’s kids were raised? The supermodel taught her children about hardwork and allowed them to follow their passion.
Maye Musk is a supermodel, grandmother, dietitian, and bestselling International author who was born in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada, on 19th April 1948 to Winnifred Josephine, died in 2012, and Joshua Norman Haldeman, passed away in 1974.
The 74-year-old super model was one of four cover models for the edition that included Kim Kardashian. Maye Musk has continually pushed boundaries in her career, from posing nude on the cover of New York Magazine in 2011 to becoming CoverGirl’s oldest spokesperson at the age of 69.
“If I thought I could be a swimsuit model for Sports Illustrated, people would have locked me away as a crazy lady,” Maye Musk said in a video released by the magazine earlier this week. “I’m very excited to let people know that women in their 70s are gorgeous,” she added.
Maye Musk is often identified based on her role as the mother of Elon Musk, but shehas been a celebrity in her own right for decades.
Long before her son became the richest man in the world, Maye Musk had already developed a prolific modeling career. She has appeared on the covers of multiple high-profile magazines, including Vogue and Time, played a role in a Beyonce music video, and been featured in numerous ads for anything from Revlon to Special K cereal.
Being a grandmother of 12, and a mother of 3 sucessful kids, many fans of the Musk Family are eager to know more on how Maye asa a single mother raised her kids. Read on to find out more.
Maye Musk has been modeling since she was 15 and was a finalist in the 1969 Miss South Africa beauty competition, but it wasn’t until recent years that she could afford to take modeling gigs simply because she wanted to without answering to an agent.
That’s because she was hustling to raise three children as a single mother while earning two master’s degrees and establishing a career as a model, dietitian, and nutritionist.
Maye Musk married Errol Musk in 1970. The two went to high school together, according to her most recent book, “A Woman Makes A Plan.”
Elon Musk’s father is an engineer from South Africa, per a 2017 Rolling Stone profile. Maye Musk told Harper’s Bazaar in 2019 that their marriage quickly went downhill and described the relationship as abusive. Errol Musk told Rolling Stone that he has never intentionally hurt anyone, excluding one scenario where he said he shot and killed three people who illegally entered his house.
South African Errol Musk who was visiting his son Kimbal Musk in Boulder, CO on Friday, March 28, 2014. Errol is the father of billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk.
Maye Musk became pregnant with Elon Musk during the couple’s honeymoon, she told Insider in a 2020 interview. Elon Musk is estranged from his father. He told Rolling Stone that his father is “a terrible human being.”
The two were married for nearly a decade. Maye Musk said in her book that she wanted to leave the relationship, but the Divorce Act, which legalized the termination of a marriage in South Africa, was not enacted until 1979. The couple was divorced the same year the law was passed.
She once had five jobs to raise her three children as a single mother.
In 1989, Maye Musk moved with her family from Johannesburg in South Africa to Toronto. The model told CNBC in a 2018 interview that she had to work five jobs to make ends meet.
She worked as a research officer for the University of Toronto so that her children could go to school there for free and taught modeling and nutrition classes two nights a week. All while working on her practice and studying to become a registered dietitian.
The family lived in a small rent-controlled apartment in Toronto. “We spent three weeks just taking staples out of the floor and removing the wallpaper, which was covered in green velvet vines and was peeling,” Maye Musk told Insider in 2015.
Maye Musk is seen outside the Jason Wu show during New York Fashion Week: Women’s A/W 2018 on February 9, 2018 in New York City.
The apartment was bare when they initially moved in.
“And the first thing we did, after the first salary I got, [was] we got an inexpensive carpet put down because we didn’t have chairs or anything,” she said in 2015. “And the second thing we got was a computer for Elon. And so he would sit on the floor at his computer.”
Maye Musk recalls a time when the family couldn’t afford to buy red meat for dinner. In the early 1990s, one of her clients who owned an abattoir (or slaughterhouse) would give the family a roast every month, even though he had no idea the family couldn’t afford to buy one themselves.
“He gave us this huge roast once a month for the three of [my kids],” she said in 2015. “And I’d cut it in four, freeze three [pieces], and we would have a roast once a week that we could share.”
The whole Musk family worked hard to support each other during that time, too.
Tosca Musk worked at an upscale grocery store near their apartment while she went to school, and Maye Musk helped Elon Musk get a job at Microsoft before he went to college since the husband of one of her colleagues worked there. Later on, she also helped her sons find jobs at a bank through a friend.
‘I never helped my kids’
Despite her achievements, Maye Musk insists that her influence isn’t responsible for the success of her children, including Elon Musk.
“I never helped my kids,” Maye Musk told Insider in 2015. “I was working too hard, my kids had to be responsible for themselves.”
Elon Musk in particular had tried his hardest in school, but only in the subjects he liked, Maye Musk said.
Elon Musk, the Chairman of the Board of Tesla Motors, a high performance electric car company, is photographed at the company’s headquarters in San Carlos, California on November 28, 2006.
“He knew everything, but he was the youngest and the smallest in his class,” she said in 2015.
Elon Musk took an interest in books, computer programming, and investing early on. While the Tesla CEO most recently announced he has made a $44 billion decision to buy Twitter, even at 14 years old Maye Musk said Elon Musk had shown a passion for investing. Last week, Maye Musk recalled how she helped her teenage son invest 1000 South African Rands into a stock he felt passionate about.
Although Maye Musk says she didn’t have much influence on the success of her children, she played a big role in helping both of her sons get their first company up and running.
She calls her sons’ careers her “best investment”.
Though she struggled to make ends meet, Musk still invested in her children’s future. “The first thing we did, after the first salary I got, [was] we got an inexpensive carpet put down because we didn’t have chairs or anything,” she told Business Insider. “And the second thing we got was a computer for Elon. And so he would sit on the floor at his computer.”
She later encouraged both of her sons when they started a software company called Zip2 for media companies and e-commerce clients. The brothers’ small business took off and eventually sold for $300 million.
In 1995, Elon Musk and Kimbal Musk started Zip2, a software company that provided business directories and maps to media companies and ecommerce clients.
At the time, Maye Musk was running her dietetics practice in Toronto and was preparing to publish her first book, “Feel Fantastic.”
In addition to the multiple jobs she held at the time, Maye Musk worked tirelessly to help her sons start their first business.
She started by encouraging Kimbal Musk to get more involved in the business after he had racked up her phone bill by constantly calling Elon Musk, who had moved to Silicon Valley.
SpaceX founder Elon Musk embraces his brother, Kimbal Musk, after being recognized by U.S. Vice President Mike Pence at NASA’s Vehicle Assembly Building following the successful launch of a Falcon 9 rocket with the Crew Dragon spacecraft from pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center on May 20, 2020.
“[Kimbal Musk] would come over to my office at night to discuss business with Elon by phone,” she said. “When my phone account reached $800 per month, I told Kimbal to stop working and join Elon.”
Since Maye Musk still lived in Toronto when Zip2 was getting started, she would fly out to Silicon Valley every six weeks. Maye Musk said she helped her sons with everything from the company’s business plan to supervising interns and taking care of printing and office expenses. She also bought them food, clothes, and furniture at the time.
Some time around 1996, Maye Musk donated all of her savings, which amounted to $10,000, to cover the office rental and expenses.
She calls it her “best investment ever.”
Maye Musk was even up until 2 a.m. with Kimbal Musk at Kinko’s helping him print out colored copies of Zip2’s presentations to investors.
“That night we were exhausted and exhilarated,” she said in 2015. “We went to the best restaurant in Palo Alto and I told them this was the last time I would use my credit card for our dinners. And that has been true.”
By 1997 and 1998, Zip2 began to really take off, and both Elon Musk and Kimbal Musk became busier with board meetings. So Maye Musk was asked to meet with the company every week while running her practice and juggling modeling gigs.
“I would rent a car every Friday night, do the Nordstrom fashion shows on Saturday morning at 8:30 am in San Francisco, San Jose, or Sacramento, and then drive to their office for our weekly business meeting,” she said in 2015.
Today, her daughter Tosca is a filmmaker in Los Angeles; her son, Kimbal is the founder of The Kitchen Community, a nonprofit that builds gardens in schools; and her son, Elon Musk, is a billionaire technology mogul, the CEO of Tesla, and one of the most well-known names in the business industry.
Maye Musk raised her kids; Elon, Tosca, and Kimbal by teaching them abut hardwork, and allowing them follow their passion.
In 2019, Maye Musk, the mother of Elon Musk and his two siblings, Kimbal and Tosca, all successful in their fields, shared her thoughts on parenting on CNBC Make It. At this challenging time, it makes for instructive reading.
“People often ask me how I raised such successful kids. I tell them I did it by teaching them about hard work and letting them follow their interests,” Maye Musk wrote.
Musk recommends putting kids to work at an early age. She became a single mother of three at 31, and had no option but to earn a living. And she was used to it at some level as she had started working for her father when she was 8.
“I never felt guilty about working full-time, because I didn’t have a choice. Taking care of my children was the top priority,” Musk wrote. “I started working for my dad when I was eight years old. We lived next door to his chiropractic, where my mom helped him, too. My twin sister Kaye and I were paid 5 cents an hour to help him mail out his monthly bulletin.”
The morale of this story was that Maye Musk was treated as a grown-up by her parents, and she did the same with her children.
“My parents treated us like adults who could be trusted, and their influence is evident in how I raised my children. From a young age, my kids helped me with my nutrition business,” Musk wrote. “Tosca would go into my office and type up letters to doctors on a word processor. Elon was very good at helping to explain the word processor functions to me. Kimbal was always helpful, too.”
History repeated when Tosca, like her mother, started helping out at the age of 8. “When we were living in Bloemfontein (South Africa), I put Tosca to work at the modeling and image school I was running,” Musk wrote. “Imagine an eight-year-old teaching students how to walk, choreographing runway shows and running etiquette classes. I even made her the dresser for all my shows.”
Growing up studying, working and without pampering made the Musk children motivated and resilient.
“If your children aren’t used to luxuries, they survive well,” Musk wrote. “You don’t need to spoil them. Once you’re sure your kids are in safe situations, let them look after themselves. I brought my children up like my parents brought us up when we were young: to be independent, kind, honest, considerate and polite. I didn’t treat them like babies or scold them. I never told them what to study. I didn’t check their homework; that was their responsibility.”
Her children made and kept an ambitious promise.
Maye Musk eventually moved to San Francisco for two-and-a-half years to be closer to her children and the business before moving to New York in 1999.
Back when the brothers and Tosca Musk were all working at Zip2, before the company sold, they couldn’t afford to buy a big gift for their mother’s 50th birthday.
Instead, they made her a promise.
“They gave me a little toy house and a little toy car the size of a matchbox and said, ‘One day we’ll buy you the real thing,'” she said.
Zip2 eventually sold to Compaq Computer for around $300 million, and the Musk children kept their word.
Since, Maye Musk has been an outspoken supporter of Elon Musk on social media. Most recently, she repeatedly derided the Biden Administration for largely ignoring Tesla’s role in the movement toward electric cars.
Elon Musk with his mother Maye during his Saturday Night Live monologue on Saturday, May 8, 2021
Maye Musk previously told Insider in 2015 that she wishes the world would understand the well-intentioned mind of her son.
“Elon’s intention is just to do whatever is possible in physics and engineering to make this planet better,” she said. “People think there’s an ulterior motive, but there isn’t. That’s all he’s striving to do. And that really upsets me, when they think ‘Oh, he’s looking for more money.’ No, he’s never done that.”
Now, most of Maye Musk’s days are spent modeling, promoting her latest book, and maintaining her nutrition practice. Maye Musk has been signed by the Creative Artists Agency (CAA).
But she and her children still find time to meet regularly. Outside of accompanying Elon Musk to the Met Gala earlier this month, the supermodel also made a cameo appearance in the billionaire’s Saturday Night Live performance in 2021.
Maye Musk has fully taken on the role of grandmother to Elon Musk’s many children. In 2020, she posted several photos and videos of the billionaire’s seventh child, X A-12.
“We do a lot of get-togethers,” she told Insider in 2015. “And I’m really fortunate to have three wonderful kids. We’re in a good position now, that we can actually eat roast beef every day if we wanted to. But we wouldn’t dare!”
Maye Musk Biography
Maye Musk’s age this year is 73 years. She was born in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada, on 19th April 1948. Meanwhile, her mother, Winnifred Josephine, died in 2012, and her dad, Joshua Norman Haldeman, passed away in 1974. He was a Canadian chiropractor and a political/professional leader
Haldeman moved his family from Canada to SA in 1950, when Maye was almost 3 years old. She has four siblings, Edith Lynne, Scott, Angkor Lee, Kaye Rive.
What is Maye Musk’s height?
She is 5 feet 8 inches tall with blue eyes and grey hair. Maye Musk’s facts Maye earned her MSc degree in dietetics from SA’s University of the Orange Free State. She also went for modelling classes and later got another MSc degree in nutritional science from the University of Toronto in Canada.
From her striking, silvery-white hair to her sophisticated smile, Maye Musk is proof that glamour only improves with age. The 74-year-old is proudly CoverGirl’s oldest spokesmodel—but she also happens to be an educated nutritionist and a mother to billionaire inventor Elon Musk.