By Napoleon Sarony / Wikimedia CommonsCC-BY-SA-3.0 / GFDL

Nikola Tesla


10 July 1856 – 7 January 1943 (Aged 86)

Tesla was born in, what is now, Croatia, in the Austrian Empire and migrated to America where he became one of the most influential inventors of the 20th century.

Among Tesla’s contributions was the invention of the alternating-current electrical system, and the Tesla Coil, which is used in radio technology to this day, and also played a role in the development of wireless technology.

At the turn of the 20th century, Tesla focused all his attention on developing a wireless communication system for the world.

However, after several years he had to abandon the project, leading to bankruptcy, and a nervous breakdown.

At the time of his death, Tesla was poor and his life’s work had fallen into relative obscurity.

However, in recent decades, his work and ideas have enjoyed a revival, with a recognition of his genius.

Elon Musk’s electric car company, Tesla, is named in his honor.

There are numerous other memorials and places named after him around the world.

Beatrix Potter


Charles G.Y. King  / Wikimedia CommonsCC-BY-SA-3.0 / GFDL

28 July 1866 – 22 December 1943 (Aged 77)

Potter was a famous British children’s author, who wrote and illustrated numerous books featuring animals, such as The Tales of Peter Rabbit, and Jemima Puddle-Duck.

Potter used much of the proceeds from her books to buy farmland in the Lake District in North-West England.

Upon her death, Potter left the land to the National Trust, creating much of, what is now, the Lake District National Park.

Sergei Rachmaninov


Kubey-Rembrandt Studios / Wikimedia CommonsCC-BY-SA-3.0 / GFDL

1 April 1873 – 28 March 1943 (Aged 69)

Rachmaninov was an influential Russian composer and pianist, known for his exceptional piano-playing ability.

His works and compositions are among the most popular in classical music.

Following the Russian Revolution, Rachmaninoff and his family left Russia for the final time in 1918, moving to the United States.

After suffering from numerous health issues in his final years, Rachmaninov died just four days shy of his 70th birthday.

William S. Harley


Harley-Davidson Archives / Wikimedia CommonsCC-BY-SA-3.0 / GFDL

29 December 1880 – 18 September 1943 (Aged 62)

Harley was an American engineer, known for co-founding the Harley-Davidson, along with William, Walter, and Arthur Davidson, in 1903.

Harvey would serve as the company’s chief engineer and treasurer until his death in 1943.

Harley died of heart failure at the age of 62.

George Washington Carver


By Frances Benjamin Johnston / Wikimedia CommonsCC-BY-SA-3.0 / GFDL

c. 1860s – 5 January 1943 (Aged 80?)

Carver was an African-American scientist, known for inventing over one hundred alternative uses for the peanut, as well as Sweet Potatoes, to encourage poorer farmers to grow crops they could benefit from instead of cotton.

Carver was born into slavery, and in an era of extreme racial tensions, he went on to earn the respect and praise of people across the racial divide for his achievements.

Carver died after falling down the stairs.

It is thought he was aged 80, which is an estimate due to there being no record of his birthdate.

His legacy has endured to this day, with a national monument in his memory in Missouri, the first national monument dedicated to an African-American.