Teller, who received the Presidential Medal of Freedom July 23 and was lauded for his "long life of brilliant achievement and patriotic service," died Tuesday after suffering a stroke a few days earlier, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.
Teller has tremendous sway over the nation's defense and energy policy, from the atom bomb to the Strategic Defense Initiative, better known as Star Wars.
Born in Hungary, he earned a doctorate in physics, moved to England in 1930 and then immigrated to the United States in 1935.
Teller helped persuade President Franklin Roosevelt at the beginning of World War II to begin development of a nuclear weapon. He joined the Manhattan Project at Los Alamos National Laboratory that created the atomic bombs that fell on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan, ending World War II.
In 1949 Teller persuaded the Truman administration to create the hydrogen-bomb and second national science lab -- the Lawrence Livermore Laboratory. There he questioned the loyalty of fellow atomic scientist J. Robert Oppenheimer and ultimately destroyed his career.