Dmitri Ivanovitch Mendeleev
(1834-1907)

 

Dmitri Ivanovitch Mendeleev (also spelled Mendeleyev) was born on February 8, 1834 in Tobolsk, Siberia.  His mother, Maria Dmitrievna Mendeleev, and his father Ivan Pavlovich had 17 kids and Dmitri was the youngest of them all. In 1847 Dmitriís father went blind and could no longer work, which meant that his mother had to help support the family, which she did by opening a glass factory. Unfortunately the factory burned to the ground in 1848, the same year in which his father had died.

In 1850 Dmitri and his mother walked almost a thousand miles to Moscow so he could apply for the University of Moscow. Although he was not accepted, his mother was determined to give her son a first-class education and they walked to St. Petersburg. Dmitri was accepted into the Institute of Pedagogy on a full scholarship. That same year his mother died and at the age of sixteen, Dmitri was orphaned. After graduating with a degree in math and science, Dmitri moved to the Crimean Peninsula where he taught in Simferopol. In 1856, Dmitri returned to Petersburg University where he finished his masterís degree and was invited to teach at a Technical Institute.

In 1863 he was married to Feozva Nikitchna Lascheva, and they had two children a son named Volodya and a daughter named Olga after Dmitriís beloved sister.

In the late 1860s Dmitri began working on his great achievement: the periodic table of elements. By arranging all of the 63 elements then known by their atomic weights, he managed to organize them in groups possessing similar properties. Where a gap existed in the table, he predicted a new element would one day be found and deduced its properties, and he was right. Three of those elements were found during his lifetime: gallium, scandium, and germanium.

Dmitri Mendeleev was struck with tuberculosis in 1855. The doctors said he only had two years to live when he was diagnosed with the illness at age 21, but he wound up living 52 more years until he died in 1907.




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