KEY POINTS

  • Maye Musk joined Kim Kardashian, Ciara and Yumi Nu as the faces of the 2022 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue
  • The model is the mother of Elon Musk, Kimbal Musk and Tosca Musk
  • Maye also posed nude for Time magazine's health issue in 2010 

Maye Musk — the mother of the richest man on the planet today, Elon Musk — recently made history by becoming the oldest model to pose for the cover of Sports Illustrated's Swimsuit issue at the age of 74. Here's a look at her life, career and net worth.

The Canadian-South African model, author, activist and registered dietitian first began modeling at age 15 while living in South Africa. In 1969, she competed in the Miss South Africa beauty pageant, where she was a finalist.

Unlike her peers whose careers peaked when they were young, Maye’s career as a model took off in recent years after she posed nude for Time magazine’s health issue in 2010 when she was 63 years old. She also appeared with a fake pregnant belly and her natural gray hair on the 2011 cover of New York Magazine to portray women over 50 having children.

Two years later, Maye appeared in Beyoncé's "Haunted" music video, and then became CoverGirl’s oldest spokesmodel at age 69.

Maye told Parade that her 70s have been the peak of her modeling career and that she has no plans of stopping anytime soon. 

“I don’t even think about age, but I notice everybody thinks about my age! My mom never worried about her age and at 96, she retired,” she said. “So I might retire at 96."

Maye’s net worth stands at $20 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth.

But while she has an impressive fortune, it is nowhere near the net worth of her son Elon. Today, the SpaceX and Tesla CEO is considered the richest person in the world, with a net worth of $221.5 billion, according to Forbes.

Maye’s two other children, Kimbal Musk, the co-founder and CEO of The Kitchen Restaurant Group and the executive chairman of Square Roots, and Tosca Musk, founder and CEO at Passionflix, are also successful today. She shares all three of her kids with ex-husband Errol Musk.

When asked how she was able to raise successful children, Maye said the secret is to teach them about hard work and let them follow their interests. 

“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,” Maye told CNBC. “Children don’t need to be protected from the reality of responsibility.”

This week, she joined Kim Kardashian, Ciara and rising model Yumi Nu as the faces of the 2022 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue. Maye graces the cover in a one-piece suit by Colombian designer Maygel Coronel on the beach in Belize.

Maye told the New York Post that she kept news of her photoshoot under wraps from her three kids, including Elon, whom she joked would have broken the news on Twitter.

“I wasn’t allowed to tell anyone. Nobody knew. I haven’t told my kids — I can’t tell anyone until Monday . . . [Elon] doesn’t even know I went to Belize,” she said.

Elon Musk and his mother, supermodel Maye Musk at the 2022 Met Gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 2, 2022, in New York Elon Musk and his mother, supermodel Maye Musk at the 2022 Met Gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 2, 2022, in New York Photo: AFP / ANGELA WEISS