Nikola Tesla revolutionized the way we use electricity, telephones, and radio waves – all without ever successfully graduating from university. We remember his amazing life today as well as the lives of other notable people who died this day in history.
Nikola Tesla revolutionized the way we use electricity, telephones, and radio waves – all without ever successfully graduating from university. His genius was unparalleled, as were his “eccentricities,” and in later life, Tesla came to embody the literary archetype of the “mad scientist.” Tesla, the namesake of the Tesla Roadster all-electric sports car, continues to turn up in popular culture as a cause célèbre among history buffs or as a mysterious member of outlandish tales put forth by UFO enthusiasts and conspiracy theorists. But the real Tesla is far more interesting than any fiction. We remember his amazing life today as well as the lives of other notable people who died this day in history.
2016: Kitty Kallen, U.S. pop singer who had a hit song in 1954 with “Little Things Mean a Lot,” dies at 93.
2016: Troy Shondell, U.S. singer known for his 1960s hit song “This Time,” dies at 76.
2015: Rod Taylor, Australian actor who appeared in over 50 films including “The Birds,” dies at 84.
Taylor’s breakthrough came in 1960 with “The Time Machine,” George Pal’s special effects marvel in which Taylor’s dogged British inventor transports himself into a future where he witnesses world wars, nuclear annihilation, and, finally, the rise of a new society. Read more
2013: Huell Howser, U.S. television host of the popular travel program “California’s Gold,” dies of natural causes at 67.
For years, California’s Gold took viewers to many parts of the Golden State, with Howser doing folksy, highly enthusiastic interviews and narration in a distinctive twang he brought with him from his native Tennessee, according to his obituary by The Associated Press. Howser also appeared in such other series about California as “Visiting With Huell Howser” and “Road Trip With Huell Howser.” Read more
2004: Ingrid Thulin, Swedish actress who appeared in many Ingmar Bergman films, dies of cancer at 77.
2002: Avery Schreiber, U.S. comedian, Doritos commercial funnyman, and actor who teamed with Jack Burns to form the comedy duo Burns and Schreiber, dies at 66.
1995: Harry Golombek, British chess international grandmaster, dies at 83.
1992: Richard Hunt, U.S. puppeteer known best as a performer of Muppets including the characters Scooter and Beaker, dies of HIV complications at 40.
1990: Joseph Robbie, U.S. lawyer and the first owner of the Miami Dolphins football team, dies at 73.
1970: Robert Barrat, U.S. character actor who appeared in more than 150 films, dies of a heart ailment at 80.
1967: David Goodis, U.S. novelist and screenwriter known for his crime novel “Dark Passage,” dies of a stroke at 49.
1964: Cyril Davies, musician who was one of the first British blues harmonica players, dies at 31.
1961: Clarice Baright, U.S. lawyer who was the first woman admitted to the American Bar Association, dies at 70.
1960: Dorothea Douglass Chambers, British professional tennis player who won seven Wimbledon titles, dies at 81.
1944: Lou Hoover, U.S. first lady who was the wife of President Herbert Hoover, dies at 69.
1943: Nikola Tesla, Serbian-American inventor and engineer who made early advances in alternating-current power, radio, X-ray technology, and more, dies at 86.
1536: Catherine of Aragon, Castilian princess who became queen of England when she married Henry VIII, dies at 50.
It seems there’s always drama afoot in the royal family, always something available to delight and tantalize the rest of the world. But today’s English royals have nothing on their predecessors. You want royal drama? Try Richard III, who murdered Henry VI to gain his throne. Or George III, who may or may not have had two wives at the same time. Or Catherine of Aragon, first of Henry VIII’s six wives. Though Catherine wasn’t the direct cause of royal drama, it surrounded her for most of her life.