Hi I'm Christina Hartman for About.com and today we're profiling American inventor and businessman, Thomas Alva Edison.Thomas Edison was born in Milan, Ohio, on February 11, 1847. The man who would one day execute over one thousand successful patents had only three months of formal schooling. He was primarily educated at home by his mother. When he was 12-years-old, Edison lost most of his hearing. But this never stopped his curiosity and interest in science.When he was 16-years-old, Edison began working as a telegraph operator — he also came up with his first invention: a device that transmitted telegraph signals between unmanned stations.In 1876, Edison opened an industrial research lab in Menlo Park, New Jersey. It was here that he worked on some of his most famous inventions — like the incandescent bulb, the telephone, and the phonograph. It was Edison's phonograph that helped earn him the moniker, “the Wizard of Menlo Park.”In 1887, Edison established an even bigger and more sophisticated laboratory in West Orange, New Jersey. During these years, Edison continued to work on his inventions, including a motion picture camera and film projector. He even constructed a movie studio known as the “Black Maria.”Edison continued working and experimenting until his death on October 18, 1934. He was 84 years old.Thanks for watching our profile of Thomas Edison, the Wizard of Menlo Park. For more information, check out About.com.