Place of Birth: Warsaw on November 7, 1867
Age of death: JULY 4TH 1934 CAUSE OF DEATH CANCER- LEUKEMIA Early life: in what was then the Russian Empire, with Poland having been divided up amongst various European nations due to war and subsequent treaties. When she was only 10 years old her mother died of tuberculosis, a short time after her elder sister had died of typhus. Despite this setback, Marie struggled on with her studies, graduating high school at age 15 with impressive marks. Soon after graduation however, she succumbed to depression and had to take a year off, staying with relatives in the countryside. She subsequently returned to Warsaw, and to her educational ambitions, determined to circumvent Russian-imposed laws which prohibited women from attending university and forbade Poles from teaching laboratory science. In consequence, anyone willing to impart knowledge or share laboratory space, even for a little while, became one of her teachers. But she knew she would need a formal degree to advance in any scientific profession. Thus Marie and sister Bronya formed a pact, agreeing to take turns working to raise money while the other traveled west, outside the Czar's reach, to attend university. Through this means Bronya was able to complete her medical degree, and by the time Marie was twenty-four, after several years of working as a governess, Marie was able to move to Paris and enroll at the prestigious Sorbonne. There she found herself woefully behind the other students, but she studied hard in chemistry, math, and physics and within three years time she had earned her Masters degree.