Nikola Tesla (July 10, 1856 -- Jan. 7, 1943) was an American-Serbian physicist who made contributions to the study of electricity which were far ahead of his time. A man with a troubled social life, he never completed his program while at Austrian Polytechnic. After coming to America, he worked briefly for Thomas Edison, leaving after feeling his talents were unappreciated. Edison and Tesla continued to feud for the remainder of their lives. Tesla was an integral mind in the development of AC power (currently used in households around the world). He also developed wireless transmission of electrical energy on a small scale, but was never able to make this technology largely available. After selling his AC patents, Tesla died in debt in a New York hotel.