Trivia

Hard

The First Person To Win Two Nobel Prizes Was?

Linus Pauling
Marie Curie
Fredrick Sanger
Albert Einstein
A photograph of Marie Curie taken in 1911.
Fotograv. – Generalstabens Litografiska Anstalt Stockholm/Wikimedia

Answer: Marie Curie

Winning a Nobel Prize is a prestigious honor. Being the first to win two Nobel Prizes is a pretty big deal—a feat only achieved by four individuals and two organizations in the entire history of the Nobel Prize. But to be the first to win two Nobel Prizes and the first to win a Nobel Prize in two different categories? Even more impressive. Add in that you did it all as one of the most accomplished female scientists of the 20th century and were the first woman to be awarded a Nobel Prize and, well, you’ve got Marie Curie.

In 1903, Marie Curie was awarded a joint Nobel Prize in Physics for her work with her husband Pierre Curie “in recognition of the extraordinary services they have rendered by their joint researches on the radiation phenomena discovered by Professor Henri Becquerel” (Becquerel also received a Nobel Prize in Physics that year, making it a true banner year for research in the field).

Later, in 1911, Curie received the sole Nobel Prize in Chemistry for that year “in recognition of her services to the advancement of chemistry by the discovery of the elements radium and polonium, by the isolation of radium and the study of the nature and compounds of this remarkable element”.

Curie remains the only woman to receive two Nobel Prizes.

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