Nikola Tesla biography

Nikola Tesla

Physicist, Inventor

1856 – 1943


Who was Nikola Tesla?

Nikola Tesla was a Serbian-born American inventor, electrical engineer, mechanical engineer, physicist, and futurist best known for his contributions to the design of the modern alternating current electricity supply system.

Tesla gained experience in telephony and electrical engineering before emigrating to the United States in 1884 to work for Thomas Edison. He soon struck out on his own with financial backers, setting up laboratories and companies to develop a range of electrical devices. His patented AC induction motor and transformer were licensed by George Westinghouse, who also hired Tesla as a consultant to help develop a power system using alternating current. Tesla is also known for his high-voltage, high-frequency power experiments in New York and Colorado Springs which included patented devices and theoretical work used in the invention of radio communication, for his X-ray experiments, and for his ill-fated attempt at intercontinental wireless transmission in his unfinished Wardenclyffe Tower project.

Tesla's achievements and his abilities as a showman demonstrating his seemingly miraculous inventions made him world-famous. Although he made a great deal of money from his patents, he spent a lot on numerous experiments. He lived for most of his life in a series of New York hotels although the end of his patent income and eventual bankruptcy led him to live in diminished circumstances. Tesla still continued to invite the press to parties he held on his birthday to announce new inventions he was working and make statements. Because of his pronouncements and the nature of his work over the years, Tesla gained a reputation in popular culture as the archetypal "mad scientist". He died in room 3327 of the New Yorker Hotel on 7 January 1943.


Use the citation below to add to a bibliography:


"Nikola Tesla." STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 10 May 2021. <>.

We need you!

Help us build the largest biographies collection on the web!

Jul 10, 1856
  • Serbs
  • Serbian American
  • Serbs of Croatia
  • Croatian American
  • South Slavs
  • United States of America
  • Austrian Empire
  • Austria-Hungary
  • Gymnasium Karlovac
    (1870 - 1873)
  • Graz University of Technology
    (1875 - 1878)
Lived in
  • Colorado Springs
    (1899 - 1900/01/07)
  • Graz
    (1875 - 1878)
  • Budapest
    (1880 - 1882)
  • Prague
    (1880 - 1880)
  • Paris
    (1882 - 1884)
  • New York City
    (1884 - )
  • Austrian Empire
  • Austria-Hungary
  • Croatia
  • Karlovac
Jan 7, 1943
New Yorker Hotel

on July 23, 2013

Discuss this Nikola Tesla biography with the community: