Marie Curie, originally named Maria Sklodowska, was born in Warsaw on November 7, 1867. Her father was a professor of mathematics and physics. Her mother, a teacher, died of tuberculosis when Marie was only 12 years old. With a poverty-stricken family, and very limited access to scientific studies – exacerbated by the fact that she was a woman – her decision to pursue a scientific career faced many obstacles. To finance her sister’s medical school tuition in Paris, Marie worked as a governess in Poland. Her sister then made it possible for Marie to come and study physics and mathematics at la Sorbonne in Paris.