Abel, Henrik Neils

Henrik Niels Abel
5 Aug 1802 – 6 Apr 1829

A Norwegian algebraist who proved the unsolvability of the general quintic (fifth degree) equation by radicals. He published this landmark result when he was 22, but had great difficulty in getting contemporary establishment mathematicians (including Gauss and Cauchy) to notice his work. Suffering from tuberculosis, he returned to Norway from Paris, but continued to publish papers in Crelle’s Journal. Just when the mathematical world was beginning to wake up to his achievements, when he was 26 years old, Abel succumbed to his illness.