Inventor, electrical engineer and physicist Nikola Tesla was born between midnight on July 9-10, 1856 in the village of Smiljan near Gospić. He comes from an orthodox family. His father Milutin was an orthodox priest, his mother Georgina (Đuka) also comes from a family of orthodox priests. He had four siblings: three sisters Angelina, Milka, Marica and a brother named Dane.
Tesla began his schooling in Smiljan, where he completed the so-called Krajiška trivijalka and learned German, mathematics and religion. After moving to Gospić, he continued primary school and finished Pripremnu osnovnu školu and Lower Real Gymnasium. From Gospić he went to Rakovac near Karlovac and graduated from the Realgymnasium there. During his time in Graz, he attended the Polytechnic University on a scholarship from the military frontier, but lost his scholarship after the military frontier collapsed and never finished his second year at the university. He began playing cards and gambles to make up for the financial loss, but couldn't make it and decided to drop out of university before the start of his third year. For a short time he worked in Maribor and after his father's death in 1879 he moved back to Gospić, where he worked in Gospić's Real-Gymnasium. In 1880 he tried to enroll at a university in Prague but was not accepted, and a year later he began building the first telephone network in Budapest.
While living in Paris, Nikola Tesla began to work for Edison's company (Continental Edison Company) and while staying in Strasbourg in 1883 he constructed his first model of the induction motor. Upon his return to Paris, Charles Batchellor referred him to Thomas Edison. Nikola Tesla traveled to New York in 1884 and began working for Thomas Edison in America. After his disagreement with Edison in 1885, he decides to start his own company called the Tesla Electric and Manufacturing Company. A year later, his company goes bankrupt and Tesla is forced to finance itself with hard manual work. In 1887 he founded a new company called the Tesla Electric Company and registered his patents: the polyphase motor system for transmitting electrical energy, the induction motor, generators and transformers. A year later, in 1888, Nikola Tesla and George Westinghouse began a partnership and he sold his AC patents for a million dollars (although according to some sources he received only $60,000).
Tesla returns to Europe and, after leaving for America, visits his native Lika for the first time. In 1890 he began researching high-frequency currents and a year later he constructed the Tesla coil (transformer). His second visit to Europe was in 1892 and after his mother's funeral he visited the cities of London, Paris, Zagreb, Budapest and Belgrade. In 1893 the World Electrical Engineering Fair was held in Chicago and Tesla had the opportunity to demonstrate all the advantages of alternating current. A fire in 1895 destroyed his laboratory and Tesla never had the opportunity to publish his work with electrons and X-rays.
In 1896, the first hydroelectric power plant was commissioned at the base of Niagara Falls, using Tesla's patents for alternating current. He first demonstrated the remote control in 1898 and continued his research using high-frequency and high-voltage currents. In 1899, Nikola Tesla decides to move his laboratory to Colorado Springs, where he works for a year. After his time in Colorado Springs, he moves to Long Island and begins building his system for transmitting electricity wirelessly, but never had a chance to complete his research as JP Morgan refused to continue funding him. In 1907 he presented the bladeless turbine and continued his technical inventions from 1910 to 1922.
Tesla's autobiography, My Inventions, was first published in 1919. He applies for patents in a variety of areas, such as the patent for vaccination, a vertical take-off aircraft, and works to improve the process of making sulfur, iron, and copper.
He was awarded the Edison Medal in 1917 and received an honorary doctorate from the University of Zagreb in 1926. In 1937 he received two honorary doctorates from the Polytechnic University of Graz and the University of Paris. Tesla spent his life in hotels and died there. He was found dead in the New York Hotel in New York on the 33rd floor of apartment 3327, he was 86 years old.