Niels Henrik Abel was born in Norway in 1802. His father was Soren Georg Abel, a political activist for Norwegian independence. In 1815 Niels Abel was sent to the Cathedral School at Christiania, where he studied mathematics under Bernt Holmboe, who encouraged him to go to Christiania University. He graduated in 1822, having undertaken work on the solution of quintic equations by radicals. In 1823 he published papers on functional equations and integrals, and a work proving the impossibility of solving the general equation of the fifth degree in radicals. For the next four years Abel travelled in Europe, visiting France, Italy and Germany to meet other mathematicians. He returned to Norway in 1827, where he earned a living through teaching until his death in May 1829. In 1830 he was awarded the Grand Prix of the Paris Academy.
From the guide to the Abel, Niels Henrik, 1826-1829, (Senate House Library, University of London)