Tesla was a rival to Thomas Edison and brought us alternating current. He and Edison entered into The War of the Currents and Tesla won. He partnered with George Westinghouse and they were awarded the contract to build the first Power Station at Niagara Falls.
Born in Yugoslavia, schooled in Europe and brought to the United States to be introduced to Thomas Edison. Edison offered him $50,000 to complete a difficult shipboard lighting assignment. He brought a crew and worked around the clock for a few days, finishing it to Edison's satisfaction. When asked for the money, Edison told him it was just "a figure of speech".
He was then offered to start his own company, The Tesla Electric Company, where he experimented with electricity and build the foundation for what we know need to generate alternating current.
He was very friendly with Mark Twain, Anton Dvorak, George Westinghouse and many inventors of the time. When he was offered the Nobel Peace Prize, he refused to go when he heard Edison was also being offered it at the same time.
Eccentric, brilliant, and psychic to some extent, he was always controversial.
Reporter asks, "Do you believe in marriage for persons with artistic temperaments?"
His answer: "For an artist, yes; for a musician, yes; for a writer, yes; but for an inventor, no. The first three gain inspiration from a woman's love, but an inventor has so intense a nature that his devotion would be directed to others rathe than his work. It's a pity, too, for sometimes we feel so lonely."