She died on July 4, 1934. Curie was buried twice on July 6, 1934, she was interred in the same cemetery in Sceaux where her in-laws and Pierre lay. Over 60 years later the remains of Pierre and Marie Curie were re-interred in France's national mausoleum, the Panthéon, in Paris. Marie Curie thus became the first woman whose own accomplishments earned her the right to rest for eternity alongside France's most eminent men.
Although the dangers of radiation are well understood now, many of the researchers who investigated these “mysterious rays” in the early part of the 20th century handled these radioactive elements with bare hands and no precautions. By the end of the 1920s, Curie began to suffer almost constantly from fatigue, dizziness, and a low-grade fever. She also experienced a continuous humming in her ears and a gradual loss of eyesight. In the early 1930s Curie's health continued to worsen, and doctors diagnosed pernicious anemia caused by the cumulative effects of radiation exposure.
Her passion for science is reflected in all her efforts towards its advancement. She was also a member of the Conseil du Physique Solvay from 1911 until her death. Moreover since 1922 she had been a member of the Committee of Intellectual Co-operation of the League of Nations. In 1932 she also laid the foundation of Radium Institute
In 1914 she co-founded the Radium Institute in Paris and was it's first Director. During the first World War, Curie and her daughter, Irene, taught a team of 150 nurses to use X-rays so that bullets could be located in injured soldiers. In 1921 she traveled to the United States where President Warren Harding presented her with a gram of radium purchased with a collection taken up among American Women.
Madame Marie Sklodowska Curie had come to Brussels in the first few days of November 1911 to talk physics with her peers. She was the only woman among twenty-three men attending a gathering of some of the world's greatest minds that included Albert Einstein and Max Planck. Marie was handed a telegram midway through the conference. The modest woman who hated attention was almost afraid to open it. But the news was not what she expected: "Nobel Prize for chemistry awarded to you. Letter follows." This message from Carl Aurivillius, head of the Swedish Committee on Prizes, confirmed her place in history.
While searching for other sources of radioactivity, the Curies had turned their attention to pitchblende, a mineral well known for its uranium content. To their immense surprise the radioactivity of pitchblende far exceeded the combined radioactivity of the uranium and thorium contained in it. From their laboratory two papers reached the Academy of Sciences within six months. The first, read at the meeting of July 18, 1898, announced the discovery of a new radioactive element, which the Curies named polonium after Marie's native country. The other paper, announcing the discovery of radium, was read at the December 26 meeting. From 1898 to 1902 the Curies converted several tons of pitchblende, but it was not only the extremely precious centigrams of radium that rewarded their superhuman efforts. The Curies also published, jointly or separately, during those years a total of thirty-two scientific papers. Among them, one announced that diseased, tumor-forming cells were destroyed faster than healthy cells when exposed to radium.
Marie contributed some of the most important ideas during the Curies' years of collaboration. The most important one was her conclusion that radioactivity is an "atomic" phenomenon, not something caused by the molecular structure of the mineral compounds. Around 1900, not all scientists were convinced that atoms existed; the physical evidence like Einstein's explanation of brownian motion was still very skimpy. It was daring to propose that there are processes going on inside atoms causing radioactivity. The importance of her "atomic" radioactivity cannot be over-estimated. In many ways, it launched the atomic age and what we think of today as modern physics. For the next 100 years, physicists would focus their investigations on processes and particles inside the atom.
In 1891, she went to Paris to continue her studies at the Sorbonne where she obtained Licenciateships in Physics and the Mathematical Sciences. She met Pierre Curie, Professor in the School of Physics in 1894 and in the following year they were married. She succeeded her husband as Head of the Physics Laboratory at the Sorbonne, gained her Doctor of Science degree in 1903, and following the tragic death of Pierre Curie in 1906, she took his place as Professor of General Physics in the Faculty of Sciences, the first time a woman had held this position.
Her parents were borth teachers, and she was the youngest of five children. As a child Curie took after her father, Ladislas, a math and physics instructor. She had a bright and curious mind and excelled at school. But tragedy struck early, and when she was only 11, Curie lost her mother, Bronsitwa, to tuberculosis. A top student in her secondary school, Curie could not attend the men-only University of Warsaw. She instead continued her education in Warsaw's "floating university," a set of underground, informal classes held in secret. Both Curie and her sister Bronya dreamed of going abroad to earn an official degree, but they lacked the financial resources to pay for more schooling. Undeterred, Curie worked out a deal with her sister. She would work to support Bronya while she was in school and Bronya would return the favor after she completed her studies.
Born November 7, 1867, near the ancient center of Warsaw, Maria Salomea Skodowska entered a world in which almost every act, including the naming of a child, bore some relation to the Poles' struggle to survive the systematic and brutal suppression of their nation.