Marie Skłodowska-Curie was born in Warsaw to parents who were both teachers. Although she was a brilliant student, the University of Warsaw accepted only men, so she continued her education by reading on her own and attending classes in secret.
At last, she was able to join her sister in Paris and attend the Sorbonne. Though she found learning French difficult at first, she graduated at the top of her class with a master's degree in Physics, then got a degree in Mathematics the following year. It was a lucky thing – for her and for us – that many people realized Marie's genius and helped her along despite the fact that at in her time, women's talent and hard work went virtually unacknowledged.
She met and married French physicist Pierre Curie, who recognized in her a capable colleague, and her father-in-law took care of their daughter so Marie and Pierre could work during the day.