Marie Skłodowska-Curie (1867-1934)

Marie Skłodowska-Curie was the first woman to win a Nobel Prize, the first person to win twice, and the only person to win a Nobel Prize in two different sciences: physics and chemistry.

Marie Curie

As a woman, she was not permitted to attend college in Warsaw, so she did it illegally through a secret Polish institution of higher learning known as the Flying University. 

After leaving for Paris where she could study, her work with her husband led to the discovery of polonium and radium. Marie was jointly awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1903. She went on to win the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1911.

Marie was the first woman to teach at Sorbonne University. Her research was crucial in the development of x-rays in surgery, and during WWI she helped equip ambulances with x-ray equipment and used them to triage on the front lines.