Italian physicist Emilio Segrè was born in 1905 to an industrialist family near Rome, and began his study of the sciences at an early age. Switching his focus from engineering to physics, Segrè was the first student to earn a doctorate under the tutelage of Enrico Fermi.
By 1930, his career began to blossom and he was engaged in various assignments. He had been credited with the discovery of previously unknown radioactive isotopes and collaborated with Fermi on various atomic research projects that took him throughout Europe and the U.S.
It was on one such trip in 1938 that Segrè learned of anti-Semitic laws instituted by Italian dictator Mussolini which barred Jews from University positions. He was thus forced to remain in the U.S., accepting a low-paying position at The University of California, Berkeley. Eventually however, he was awarded a professorship at Berkeley.
By 1944, he was working closely with other physicists on the top secret Manhattan Project at Los Alamos National Laboratory. Throughout his career he would hold positions at Columbia University, University of Illinois, and University of Rio de Janeiro before returning to his alma mater, University of Rome, in 1974.
Segrè is also credited with writing a biography of his friend and mentor Enrico Fermo and creating a photographic archive of scientific history over the course of his lifetime.
Segrè passed away in 1989.