(1856 - 1943)
     "Called a madman by someone, a genius by others, and an enigma by 
     nearly everyone, Nikola Tesla was possibly the greatest inventor the 
     world has ever known. He was, without doubt, a trail blazer who 
     created astonishing, sometimes world-transforming, devices that often 
     were virtually without theoretical precedent. It was Tesla who 
     introduced us to the fundamentals of robotry, computers, and missile 
     science and helped pave the way for such space-age technologies as 
     satellites, microwaves, beam weapons, and nuclear fusion. Yet, Tesla 
     still remains one of the least recognized scientific pioneers in 
     Certainly he was one of the strangest of scientists-almost 
     supernaturally gifted, erratic, flamboyant, and neurotic nearly to the 
     point of madness. A dandy and popular man-about-town, he was admired 
     by man as diverse as George Westinghouse and Mark Twain and adored by 
     scores of society beauties. Yet his bewildering of compulsions and 
     phobias extended from such mundane subject as food and clean linen to 
     pearls and women's ears. He was fond of creating 
     neighborhood-threatening electrical storms in his apartment laboratory 
     and once nearly knocked down a tall building by attaching a mysterious 
     "black box" to its side. (He claimed he could have destroyed the 
     entire planet with a similar device.) And because he kept so few 
     notes, to this day we can only guess at the details of many of the 
     fantastic scientific projects that occupied his fevered intellect."
     Adapted from the: "Man out of time" by Margaret Cheney