Nobel Prize Recipient. Marie Curie received the honor of being recipient of two Nobel Prizes: First she shared the 1903 Nobel Prize in Physics and in 1911 the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. She also broke through several glass ceilings in science by being the first woman. Born the daughter of a school teacher, she left Poland after being in a Polish student revolution against the domination of the Austria Empire of her homeland. After receiving degrees in mathematics and physics, she met Pierre Curie in 1894, a professor in the School of Physics, and in the following year they were married. She succeeded her husband as Head of the Physics Laboratory at the Sorbonne and was the first woman in Europe to receive her doctorate of science in June of 1903. In 1903, she became the first woman to be awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics. She shared her half of the Nobel Prize with her husband and the other half was awarded to Henri Bequer. Following the tragic death of her husband in 1906, she took his place as Professor of General Physics in the Faculty of Sciences at the Sorbonne University in Paris, which was the first time a woman had held this position. In 1911 she was the recipient of an unprecedented second Nobel Prize for Chemistry for the discovery of radium and polonium, the isolation of radium and the study of the nature and compounds of radium. She became the first person to received two Nobel Prizes and yet, in two different fields of science. She was also appointed Director of the Curie Laboratory in the Radium Institute of the University of Paris, founded in 1914. During World War I, she led in the developing of portable X-ray machines, called "Little Curies," to be used in field hospitals. Besides her Nobel Prizes, she received, jointly with her husband, the Davy Medal of the Royal Society in 1903. She traveled twice to the United States, in 1921 and in 1928. On the 1921 trip in recognition of her achievement in science, United States President Harding, on behalf of the women of America, presented her with one gram of radium, which had become more valuable than diamonds. She received high esteem and admiration by scientists throughout the world. Her eldest daughter, Irene Joliot-Curie, was the recipient of the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1935, the year after Marie Curie died. The younger daughter, Eva, wrote Marie Curie's biography. In 1995, she was the first woman laid to rest under the famous dome of the Pantheon in Paris on her own merits. With an audience of grade-school level to the college students, there are been numerous books written through the years on her remarkable life.
Bio by: Linda Davis