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Manya Skłodowska

Marie Curie

The father of Maria Manya Skłodowska - called Manya by her friends - was not a man of great financial astuteness and bad investments rendered the family finances, well, uncertain. Although Manya had graduated with top honors from her high school - her best subjects were math, chemistry, and physics - after she graduated, she got a job as a live in babysitter. However, she had to leave the job when she and the adult brother of her charges began to enjoy each others company a bit too much for the pleasure of her employer. Eventually she got another babysitting job and was putting aside part of her pay to help her sister, Bronya, through medical school. Eventually Manya - and her father who finally got a good job - was able to save enough money for Bronya to keep studying to be a doctor and enough so Manya could leave her native Poland and start to study her favorite subjects in Paris at the Sorbonne. And this was all in 1890!

But Manya has another distinction and that is that both she, her husband (who she met in Paris), her daughter, and her son-in-law all eventually went on to win ... Well, you know all about Manya, although perhaps under her married name. Or if not you can read more about Manya and her unusual family if you click here.