She was born in the city of
Both of her parents were educators. Her father, Władysław, was a teacher of math and physics. Her mother, Bronisława, was the director of an important boarding school for girls.
Władysław was an atheist. Bronisława was a committed Roman Catholic. In 1877, Marie’s oldest sister Zofia died of typhus. In 1879, Marie’s mother died of tuberculosis. After these deaths, Marie decided to be an agnostic: someone who believed that a god exists but not the one worshiped by Catholics.
Marie finished secondary school in 1883. After graduation, she spent some time with her extended family and did some tutoring in
In 1885, her older sister Bronisława needed help paying for medical school in
A year later she worked as governess for the Żorawski family. She fell in love with Kazimierz Żorawski, who was a year older than her. The two wanted to get married. Kazimierz’s parents would not allow it because Marie’s family was too poor. To keep the two young lovers apart, they fired Marie.
Marie found another job as governess. She continued to send money to her sister Bronisława in
By 1890 Marie’s sister no longer needed money from her. Marie returned to her father in
In 1889, Bronisława had gotten married. She had invited Marie to come live with her and her husband in
Soon after moving to
Marie met Pierre Curie in 1894. He taught science at a technical college. They got to know each other because of a shared interest in magnetism.
Although the two liked each other, Marie returned to
In 1895, Marie and Pierre got married. After that, they spent most of their time doing scientific research together.