Marie Curie

Marie Curie, 1903

Marie Curie, 1903

Marie Curie (7 November 1867 – 4 July 1934) was a Polish-born French physicist and chemist who made landmark discoveries about radioactivity. She was the first woman to win a Nobel Prize and the first person to win a Nobel Prize twice.

Early Life & Education

Curie was born Maria Sklodowska in 1867 in Warsaw, Poland. There, she attended the clandestine “flying” (or “floating”) university, as women were not allowed in Polish universities at the time. She worked as a governess for a time until she could afford to move to France in 1891 to further her education. 

She studied at the University of Paris (the Sorbonne), earning a degree in physics in 1893 and in mathematics in 1894. She earned her doctorate of science in 1903.

Marriage & Family

Marie married French physicist Pierre Curie in 1895, and the two worked jointly on projects as well as conducting their own research. Marie and Pierre had two daughters, Irene (born 1897) and Eve (born 1904). 

Research & Nobel Prizes

In 1898, Marie’s research into uranium led to her discovery of the elements polonium (named after her native Poland) and radium. In 1903, Marie and Pierre (along with another researcher, Henri Becquerel) were jointly awarded the Nobel Prize in physics for their research into radioactivity

After Pierre’s death in an accident in 1906, Marie was given his position at the University of Paris, making her the school’s first woman professor. In 1911, Marie Curie was awarded her second Nobel Prize, this time in chemistry. 

Later Life & Death

During World War I, Curie developed mobile x-ray units (referred to as “petites Curies”) to help diagnose battlefield injuries. In 1922, she became a member of the venerated French Academy of Medicine. Her later career was largely dedicated to researching the medical uses of radiation, and she saw the creation of the Curie Institutes in Paris (1920) and in Warsaw (1932).

Marie Curie passed away from aplastic anemia in 1934 in France at age 66, likely as a result of her frequent exposure to radiation. Curie and her work were extremely famous both during her lifetime and after. In 1995, her remains, as well as those of her husband, were enshrined in the Pantheon in Paris. 

Learn more about Marie Curie through historical newspapers from our archives. Explore newspaper articles, headlines, images, and other primary sources below.


Articles and Clippings about Marie Curie

Marie and Pierre Curie discover polonium, 1898Marie and Pierre Curie discover polonium, 1898 Sat, Oct 22, 1898 – 9 · Los Angeles Evening Express (Los Angeles, California) · Newspapers.comThe Curies announce discovery of the element radiumThe Curies announce discovery of the element radium Sat, May 20, 1899 – 6 · Kenosha News (Kenosha, Wisconsin) · Newspapers.com1900 newspaper spotlight on Marie Curie and the importance of her discoveries1900 newspaper spotlight on Marie Curie and the importance of her discoveries Fri, Sep 7, 1900 – 14 · The San Francisco Examiner (San Francisco, California) · Newspapers.comMarie Curie receives her doctorate from the University of Paris (Sorbonne), 1903Marie Curie receives her doctorate from the University of Paris (Sorbonne), 1903 Sun, Jul 12, 1903 – Page 40 · The Inter Ocean (Chicago, Illinois) · Newspapers.comFamily photo of Marie Curie, husband Pierre, and daughter IreneFamily photo of Marie Curie, husband Pierre, and daughter Irene Sat, Aug 29, 1903 – Page 3 · The Times-Democrat (New Orleans, Louisiana) · Newspapers.comThe Curies and Henri Becquerel split the 1903 Nobel Prize for physicsThe Curies and Henri Becquerel split the 1903 Nobel Prize for physics Fri, Dec 11, 1903 – Page 8 · The New York Times (New York, New York) · Newspapers.comPierre Curie, husband of Marie Curie, is killed in a Paris accidentPierre Curie, husband of Marie Curie, is killed in a Paris accident Sat, Apr 21, 1906 – Page 11 · The Age (Melbourne, Victoria, Australia) · Newspapers.comMarie Curie appointed to husband's position at University of Paris (Sorbonne) after his deathMarie Curie appointed to husband's position at University of Paris (Sorbonne) after his death Thu, Jun 7, 1906 – 2 · Springville Journal (Springville, New York) · Newspapers.comMarie Curie is awarded the Nobel Prize for chemistry, her second Nobel PrizeMarie Curie is awarded the Nobel Prize for chemistry, her second Nobel Prize Wed, Nov 8, 1911 – 1 · The Dispatch (Moline, Illinois) · Newspapers.comMarie Curie reportedly suffering from illness believed to be caused by radiumMarie Curie reportedly suffering from illness believed to be caused by radium Sat, Mar 9, 1912 – 6 · The Evening Sun (Baltimore, Maryland) · Newspapers.comNewspaper feature with one perspective on Marie Curie's scandal with Paul LangevinNewspaper feature with one perspective on Marie Curie's scandal with Paul Langevin Sun, Feb 8, 1914 – Page 21 · The Star Press (Muncie, Indiana) · Newspapers.comDuring World War I, Marie Curie develops mobile radiography units (During World War I, Marie Curie develops mobile radiography units ("petites Curies") Sat, Dec 5, 1914 – Page 9 · El Paso Herald (El Paso, Texas) · Newspapers.comPres. Harding presents Marie Curie with gift of radium during her 1921 trip to the United StatesPres. Harding presents Marie Curie with gift of radium during her 1921 trip to the United States Sat, May 21, 1921 – 1 · Chattanooga Daily Times (Chattanooga, Tennessee) · Newspapers.comMarie Curie becomes first woman elected to the French Academy of MedicineMarie Curie becomes first woman elected to the French Academy of Medicine Wed, Feb 8, 1922 – 19 · Chicago Tribune (Chicago, Illinois) · Newspapers.comFamily photo of Marie Curie and her siblingsFamily photo of Marie Curie and her siblings Fri, Feb 22, 1924 – Page 18 · Asbury Park Press (Asbury Park, New Jersey) · Newspapers.comMarie Curie comments on poisoning of the Marie Curie comments on poisoning of the "Radium Girls" in 1928 article Mon, May 28, 1928 – Page 4 · The Daily Notes (Canonsburg, Pennsylvania) · Newspapers.comMarie Curie is reported to be working on using radium in cancer treatmentMarie Curie is reported to be working on using radium in cancer treatment Sat, Nov 8, 1930 – Page 9 · St. Cloud Times (Saint Cloud, Minnesota) · Newspapers.comPicture of Marie Curie and her daughter Irene Joliot-Curie in ParisPicture of Marie Curie and her daughter Irene Joliot-Curie in Paris Thu, Jul 9, 1931 – Page 22 · Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) · Newspapers.comMarie Curie founds Radium Institute in Poland in 1932Marie Curie founds Radium Institute in Poland in 1932 Fri, Jul 22, 1932 – 8 · The Marshall News Messenger (Marshall, Texas) · Newspapers.comSummary of some of Marie Curie's achievements and awards as of 1933Summary of some of Marie Curie's achievements and awards as of 1933 Thu, Feb 23, 1933 – 4 · The Windsor Star (Windsor, Ontario, Canada) · Newspapers.comDeath announcement for Marie Curie in July 1934Death announcement for Marie Curie in July 1934 Thu, Jul 5, 1934 – 9 · The Guardian (London, Greater London, England) · Newspapers.comExcerpt from obituary for Marie Curie after her death on July 4, 1934Excerpt from obituary for Marie Curie after her death on July 4, 1934 Thu, Jul 5, 1934 – 1 · The Gazette (Montreal, Quebec, Quebec, Canada) · Newspapers.comNewspaper account of Marie Curie's funeral in July 1934Newspaper account of Marie Curie's funeral in July 1934 Sat, Jul 7, 1934 – 4 · Hartford Courant (Hartford, Connecticut) · Newspapers.comMarie and Pierre Curie are entombed at the Pantheon in Paris in 1995Marie and Pierre Curie are entombed at the Pantheon in Paris in 1995 Fri, Apr 21, 1995 – Page 20 · The Los Angeles Times (Los Angeles, California) · Newspapers.com
"Marie Curie," Newspapers.com Topics (https://www.newspapers.com/topics/famous-people/marie-curie/ : accessed June 3, 2020)