“The year was 1919. Europe had been ravaged by World War I, and radium was far too expensive for a scientist of modest means to afford for experiments, even one as famous as Madame Marie Curie. As a result, Madame Curie’s ground-breaking research had reached a virtual standstill… ” For my biography, I chose Marie Curie. Marie Curie was born in 1867 in Warsaw, Poland as Manya Sklodowska. She was not only a great chemist, famous for her work on radioactivity, but she broke boundaries for woman also. In fact with the help of her husband, Pierre, made up that word.
Madame Curie who was the first woman to win a Nobel Peace Prize won two for her work in Physics and Chemistry. Her family was one that took for good education. For this reason, she left Poland and went to Paris to study mathematics, chemistry and physics. She studied at the Sorbonne and in 1891, she became the first woman to teach there. While she was in France, she took to their way of spelling her name, Marie. Around that time she met Pierre Curie who taught physics at the University of Paris. They soon started to conduct research on radioactive substances and before long they got married.
In 1903, the Curies, along with, Antoine Henri Bacquerel, a French physicist won the Nobel Peace Prize for their discoveries in Physics. Madame Marie continued working on radioactive elements and won the 1911 Nobel Prize for chemistry for isolating radium and studying its chemical properties. In 1914, Madame Curie helped found the Radium Institute in Paris, and was the Institute’s first director. In 1934 she died of leukemia that was probably induced by the extensive exposure to high levels of radiation involved by her studies. In dedication to her death, the Radium Institute was renamed the Curie Institute in her honor.