Louis Pasteur Marries Marie Laurent

Arriving in Strasbourg in January of 1849, he met Marie Laurent, daughter of the university's rector.

With characteristic decisiveness, Pasteur proposed marriage within a few weeks, and in May of that year he and Marie were married. He chose well: For the rest of his life, Marie Pasteur supported and assisted him in his work; often they spent their evenings together, with Pasteur dictating notes or letters to his wife.

The Pasteurs moved in 1854 to the university at Lille, a thriving industrial area of France. Pasteur encouraged the practical application of science to the industries around him. His efforts on behalf of a local manufacturer who made alcohol from sugar beets were his first serious study of fermentation.

After serving briefly as professor of physics at Dijon Lycée in 1848, he became professor of chemistry at the University of Strasbourg, where he met and courted Marie Laurent, daughter of the university's rector, in 1849. They were married on May 29, 1849, and together had five children, only two of whom survived to adulthood, two died of typhoid and one of a brain tumor. These personal tragedies inspired Pasteur to try to find cures for diseases such as typhoid.