Mária Telkes Biography: Age, Husband, Net Worth, Height, Nationality, Death

January 5, 2024 0 Posted By Johnson Ajiboye

Mária Telkes was a Hungarian-American biophysicist and inventor known for her groundbreaking work in solar energy technologies. Her contributions to the field have earned her the nickname “The Sun Queen.”

Telkes was a pioneer in solar thermal storage systems and played a crucial role in the development of practical uses for solar energy.

She is recognized as one of the founders of solar energy technology, and her inventions have impacted the field.


  • Full Name: Mária Telkes
  • Date of Birth: December 12, 1900
  • Age: 123 years old
  • Gender: Female
  • Place of Birth: Budapest, Austria-Hungary
  • Nationality: Hungarian-American
  • Profession: Biophysicist, Inventor
  • Parents: Aladar and Mária Laban de Telkes
  • Siblings: N/A
  • Spouse: N/A
  • Children: N/A
  • Relationship Status: N/A
  • Net Worth: $5 million

Early Life & Education

Mária Telkes (aged 123 as of 2023) was born in Budapest, Austria-Hungary on December 12, 1900.

She grew up in Budapest and attended elementary and high school in the city. Telkes showed a keen interest in science from a young age.

She studied at the prestigious Eötvös Loránd University and obtained a B.A. in physical chemistry in 1920. Her passion for the subject led her to pursue further education, and she earned her Ph.D. in physical chemistry in 1924.

Personal Life

Mária Telkes’s personal life, including her romantic relationships, spouse, and children, are not extensively documented.


Telkes began her career as a biophysicist in the United States after moving there in 1924. She worked at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, researching the energy produced by living organisms.

Telkes collaborated with George Washington Crile and invented a photoelectric mechanism to record brain waves. She also co-authored a book called “Phenomenon of Life” at the foundation.

Telkes then worked as a physicist at Westinghouse, where she focused on developing metal alloys for thermocouples that could convert heat into electricity.

1939, she joined the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to work in the newly established solar energy program.

Telkes’s expertise in solar energy technologies became evident during World War II when she developed a solar-powered water desalination machine that provided clean water for soldiers in difficult situations.

One of Telkes’s notable achievements was the development of a solar distillation device that saved the lives of downed airmen and torpedoed sailors during the war.

She aimed to create a version of the device that could benefit villagers in poor and arid regions. Telkes’s work continued after the war, and she collaborated with architect Eleanor Raymond to create one of the first solar-heated houses, the Dover Sun House. Their innovative design stored energy from sunlight each day, heating the house.

Telkes received recognition for her contributions to the field of solar energy. In 1952, she became the first recipient of the Society of Women Engineers Achievement Award.

She also received a lifetime achievement award from the National Academy of Sciences Building Research Advisory Board in 1977.

Throughout her career, Telkes registered more than 20 patents for her inventions and advancements in solar energy technologies.

Net Worth

According to sources, Mária Telkes had a net worth of approximately $5 million.


Mária Telkes died on December 2, 1995, in Budapest, Hungary, at 94.

Social Media

  • Instagram handle: N/A
  • Twitter handle: N/A

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