Walter Isaacson, the biographer who chronicled the lives of Steve Jobs, Benjamin Franklin and Leonardo da Vinci, is turning his attention to the life and career of Elon Musk. The Tesla CEO announced the project in a tweet Wednesday.
If you’re curious about Tesla, SpaceX & my general goings on, @WalterIsaacson is writing a biography
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) August 5, 2021
Musk said that Isaacson has shadowed him “for several days so far,” though he later added that an autobiography might still be in the cards one day. It’s unclear when the book will be released or how far along Isaacson is in the project. His biography on Steve Jobs (aptly titled “Steve Jobs“) took more than two years and included interviews with more than 100 of Jobs’ peers.
Musk has been the subject of a number of books, but Isaacson is the most high-profile biographer yet to take on his story. The author is currently a professor at Tulane University and was previously the CEO of the Aspen Institute and the CEO of CNN. Isaacson appeared onstage at TechCrunch’s Disrupt in 2014.
Other books on Musk’s life and work include Ashlee Vance’s 2015 biography, “Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future,” in which Musk participated; Ed Niedermeyer’s “Ludicrous: The Unvarnished Story of Tesla Motors” and this month’s release of Tim Higgins’ “Power Play: Tesla, Elon Musk, and the Bet of the Century.”
Musk and Higgins had a brief back-and-forth about a section of “Power Play” describing a particularly spicy interaction between him and Apple CEO Tim Cook. The conversation, which Higgins reported in his book and took place over the phone, was over Cook’s purported interest in acquiring Tesla back in 2016. As Higgins tells it, Musk tells Cook he’s interested, but on the condition that he be instated as CEO of Apple — to which Cook replies, “F—you.”
Musk maintained in a tweet that he and Cook have never spoken or written to each other. Higgins replied that the anecdote came from people who reported as hearing Musk’s recounting of the conversation at the time. He added that Musk was given plenty of opportunities to comment on the anecdote. “He didn’t,” he said.