Did Tesla Ever Receive the Nobel Prize?
No, but he thought he had.
In November 1915, the New York Times suggested Tesla and Edison were to share that year’s Nobel Prize in Physics. Tesla immediately declared that the award acknowledged his pioneering work, not yet proven, to send power wirelessly through the planet. Edison wisely avoided making any statement since the report proved to be false.
Tesla then proved not to be gracious, saying he wouldn’t have accepted the prize because he wouldn’t share it with Edison. The Nobel Committee went out of its way to respond, stating: “Any rumor that a person has not been given a Nobel Prize because he has made known his intention to refuse the reward is ridiculous.”
In a letter to a friend, Tesla also showed his arrogant side: “In a thousand years, there will be many recipients of the Nobel Prize, but I have not less than four dozen of my creations identified with my name in the technical literature. These are honors real and permanent, which are bestowed, not by a few who are apt to err, but by the whole world which seldom makes a mistake and for any of those I could give all the Nobel prizes which will be distributed during the next thousand years.”
Tesla: Inventor of the Modern