Named Maria Sklodowska and born in Warsaw, Poland on 7th November 1867, Marie Curie was the fifth child of two well-known teachers.
She graduated from secondary school at the age of 15, receiving a gold medal for her work. However, she could not continue her studies in Poland as women were not allowed to go to university at that time.
Due to the financial difficulties her family had to face, Marie had to go to work at a young age as a teacher, and at the age of 18 she became a governess. She gave her sister financial assistance during her medical studies in Paris.
With her sister's assistance, Marie moved to Paris in 1891 and started her studies at the Sorbonne. She lived in desperate financial circumstances. In 1893 she was awarded a degree in physics, and in 1894 she earned a degree in mathematics with excellent results.
Having graduated from university, she started out her career at the School of Physics and Chemistry in Paris, led by the young physicist Pierre Curie. Their friendship soon turned into love, and they got married in 1895.