Women have received 58 Nobel Prizes, with Marie Curie, the first woman Nobel Laureate, winning twice. Overall, women have received the Nobel Prize across numerous disciplines:
• Peace (17)
• Literature (16)
• Medicine (12)
• Chemistry (7)
• Physics (4)
• Economic Studies (2)29
To date, there have been 603 prizes awarded to 962 laureates.30 The number of women Nobel Laureates is 57. Here are profiles of some of the women who have made history.
Marie Curie shared the 1903 Nobel Prize in Physics with her husband, Pierre, for extracting two previously unknown elements from pitchblende, polonium, and radium, both more radioactive than uranium. After she was widowed, she continued the couple’s work and was awarded the 1911 Prize in Chemistry for successfully producing radium as a pure metal and documenting properties of radioactive elements and their compounds. In 1935, their daughter, Irène Joliot-Curie, was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry with her husband, Frederic Joliot.
Toni Morrison was awarded the 1993 Nobel Prize in Literature for the body of her work revolving around the Black experience. Her works often depict difficult circumstances and the dark side of humanity, but still convey integrity and redemption. Among her works are her debut novel, The Bluest Eye, as well as Song of Solomon and Beloved.
In 2011, the Nobel Prize for Peace was jointly awarded to three women: President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf of Liberia, Leymah Gbowee, a Liberian peace activist, and Tawakkol Karman, a Yemeni democracy and women’s rights activist.
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