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“Life is not easy for any of us. But what of that? We must have perseverance and above all confidence in ourselves. We must believe that we are gifted for something and that this thing must be attained.” — Marie Curie
Sometimes life beats us down: we have too many demands on our lives; disappointments abound; we feel isolated and lonely. Curie tells us to get over our complaints and our temptation to make excuses. And she certainly practiced what she preached: she was the first woman to win the Nobel Prize in physics, and the first person to win it twice. She had a loving personal and professional partnership with her husband, who was also a physicist. She had periods where life could have knocked her down, but she picked herself up and continued on. One great tragedy was losing her husband:
On 19 April 1906, Pierre Curie was killed in a road accident. Walking across the Rue Dauphine in heavy rain, he was struck by a horse-drawn vehicle and fell under its wheels, causing his skull to fracture. Curie was devastated by her husband’s death. On 13 May 1906 the physics department of the University of Paris decided to retain the chair that had been created for her late husband and to offer it to Marie. She accepted it, hoping to create a world-class laboratory as a tribute to her husband Pierre. She was the first woman to become a professor at the University of Paris.