Marie Curie (born Maria Skłodowska; also known as Maria Skłodowska-Curie; November 7, 1867 – July 4, 1934) was a physicist and chemist of Polish upbringing and, subsequently, French citizenship. She was a pioneer in the field of radioactivity, the first and only person honored with Nobel Prizes in two different sciences, and the first female professor at the University of Paris.
She was born in Warsaw, Vistulan Country, Russian Empire, and lived there until she was 24. In 1891 she followed her elder sister Bronisława to study in Paris, where she obtained her higher degrees and conducted her scientific work. She founded the Curie Institutes in Paris and Warsaw. She was the wife of fellow-Nobel-laureate Pierre Curie and the mother of a third Nobel laureate, Irène Joliot-Curie.
While an actively loyal French citizen, she never lost her sense of Polish identity. Madame Curie named the first new chemical element that she discovered (1898) "polonium" for her native country, and in 1932 she founded a Radium Institute (now the Maria Skłodowska-Curie Institute of Oncology) in her home town, Warsaw, headed by her physician-sister Bronisława.