Maria (Marie) Sklodowska Curie was born in Warsaw, Poland on November 7, 1867. The youngest child of a large family, Curie received a substandard local education along with scientific training from her father.
Prior to going to Paris, Curie became involved in a student revolutionary organization, as Warsaw was then dominated by Russia.
In 1891, she went to Paris to study at the Sorbonne where she obtained degrees in Physics and Mathematical Sciences. She met Pierre Curie, Professor in the School of Physics in 1894– the year after, they were married. Following the tragic death of Pierre Curie in 1906, she took his place as Professor of General Physics in the Faculty of Sciences, the first time a woman had held this job.
Throughout World War One, Curie along with her daughter Irene promoted the use of radium to ease suffering in soldiers.
Curie’s entire career was spent in poor research conditions, likely resulting in her death by aplastic anemia from exposure to radiation. At the time, the drastic effects of exposure to radiation were not known to scientists.
She died in 1934, at the age of 66– having won two Nobel prizes, and helping advance science a bit more.