One Radioactive Scientist

“Marie Curie defied their wishes and went to the ceremony.” Marie Curie was treated like a criminal by the public and some people in the science field because she won a very well respected award on her own. Before she got to the glory she had to get through life, though. Marie Curie struggles were vast and tragic. There was death, denied marriage, and people told her to stop pursuing in physics. In the end her discoveries were as great as a grave robber coming across a mummified queen. Marie Curie the pioneer physicist for all men and women.

Before Marie Curie


Marie Curie was born on November 7, 1867 as Manya Skłodowska. She had a very tragic first ten years. First her dad lost his job and they had to move to a new house. The house was bigger so they rented it out to some boys that went to the school where her dad worked. One of the boys brought a disease into their house which her sister caught and later died from, another one of her sisters caught the disease but lived. Then her mom die from Tuberculosis, she was only 10 when her mom died. This didn’t stop her from going to school. She finally graduated high school and was ready to pursue her dreams of going to college, but her sister who is older than her wants an education, too. Manya says she will help pay for her sister to go to college if she will do the same for her. Manya became a governess to cover her sisters expenses. Her first family were not tight knit and called each other horrible names. She couldn't stand how rude they were so she quit. Her second family she fell in love with their son and they wanted to get married, but his parents said he couldn't marry her because she was poor. She could only save pennies a day it felt like for her college. Finally her sister graduated and Manya could start saving up for college.

The Road to Greatness

Manya’s sister had gotten married and invited her to live with her in Paris as Manya was going to go to school there. She gratefully accepted the offer. She also changes her name to Marie in this time. When Marie started college she realized that her French, and math and physics were not as advanced as her fellow peers. Since her French wasn’t as fluent she couldn’t keep up with lectures. Marie had to study extra hard to catch up and keep up with the lectures and her peers. To make things worse Marie’s health wasn’t always the best since she lived on bread and butter and tea for the most part. While in college she met Pierre Curie while looking for a lab. Marie graduated with a masters in physics and another degree in mathematics.

The March to Success

Marie and Pierre’s romance grew and they decided to get married. She started studying Wilhelm Roentgen’s work on uranium and furthered his discoveries. Then she discovered that uranium gives off the same amount of rays in any condition. Then Marie Curie discovered polonium and radium. She discovered these in a pitchblende. The first one polonium was named after Marie Curie’s homeland Poland. Radium was named after the latin word meaning ray. Both radium and Polonium and Radium give off rays. After Marie and her husband’s brilliant discoveries, Marie and Pierre won the Nobel Peace Prize for their work. After receiving the award with his wife Pierre’s life came tragically to an end, when he fell in front of a horse drawn carriage and was crushed by the wheel. This sudden tragedy did not slow Marie Curie down. She kept researching and wrote a thesis on Radium and Polonium. This won her a second Nobel Peace Prize and bitter comments from scientists and the public. They made comments like, it was just out pity that she was given the award. Some of these comments came from one of her belated husband’s students, who was known to be sexist. Do to the comments being made, Marie Curie was asked not to come to the public ceremony. She did not do as they wished. She went to the ceremony and accepted her award in front of everyone. Marie Curie’s daughter kept the legacy going and in total, the Curie family has been awarded 5 Nobel Peace Prizes.

Fight For It

Even though life throws us curve balls, you have to hit them to the out field. You have to get to your goal. Marie Curie did this and look where she is in history. If you keep fighting, you will get to your goal someday.