Nikola Tesla, c. 1896
|Died||7 January 1943
|Cause of death||
high-voltage, high-frequency power experiments
Nikola Tesla (
Born and raised in the Austrian Empire, Tesla received an advanced education in engineering and physics in the 1870s and gained practical experience in the early 1880s working in
Attempting to develop inventions he could patent and market, Tesla conducted a range of experiments with mechanical oscillators/generators, electrical discharge tubes, and early X-ray imaging. He also built a wireless-controlled boat, one of the first ever exhibited. Tesla became well known as an inventor and would demonstrate his achievements to celebrities and wealthy patrons at his lab, and was noted for his showmanship at public lectures.
Throughout the 1890s, Tesla pursued his ideas for wireless lighting and worldwide wireless electric power distribution in his high-voltage, high-frequency power experiments in New York and
After Wardenclyffe, Tesla went on to try to develop a series of inventions in the 1910s and 1920s with varying degrees of success. Having spent most of his money, he lived in a series of New York hotels, leaving behind unpaid bills. The nature of his earlier work and the pronouncements he made to the press later in life earned him the reputation of an archetypal "
Nikola Tesla was born an ethnic
Tesla was the fourth of five children. He had three sisters, Milka, Angelina and Marica, and an older brother named Dane, who was killed in a horse riding accident when Tesla was aged five.
 In 1861, Tesla attended primary school in
In 1870, Tesla moved far north to
Tesla would later write that he became interested in demonstrations of electricity by his physics professor.
 Tesla noted that these demonstrations of this "mysterious phenomena" made him want "to know more of this wonderful force".
 Tesla was able to perform
In 1873, Tesla returned to Smiljan. Shortly after he arrived, he contracted
In 1874, Tesla evaded
In 1875, Tesla enrolled at
Tesla claimed that he worked from 3 a.m. to 11 p.m., no Sundays or holidays excepted.
 He was "mortified when [his] father made light of [those] hard won honors." After his father's death in 1879,
 Tesla found a package of letters from his professors to his father, warning that unless he were removed from the school, Tesla would die through overwork. At the end of his second year, Tesla lost his scholarship and became addicted to gambling.
 During his third year, Tesla gambled away his allowance and his tuition money, later gambling back his initial losses and returning the balance to his family. Tesla said that he "conquered [his] passion then and there," but later in the U.S. he was again known to play
In December 1878, Tesla left
In March 1879, Tesla's father went to Maribor to beg his son to return home, but he refused.
 Nikola suffered a
On 17 April 1879, Milutin Tesla died at the age of 60 after contracting an unspecified illness.  Some sources say that he died of a stroke.  During that year, Tesla taught a large class of students in his old school in Gospić. 
In January 1880, two of Tesla's uncles put together enough money to help him leave Gospić for
In 1881, Tesla moved to