I was the son of a Norwegian pastor, one of many children in a large family.
At age 16, while reading Gauss' Disquisitiones, I noticed a gap in Euler's proof of the binomial theorem and extended it to include any real power.
At age 19, I produced the first proof that no general formula would be found to solve the quintic equation (unlike the quadratic, the cubic, and the quartic).
Though recognized for my two great mathematical discoveries, I could not get an academic position and had to live in poverty.
I died at age 27 from tuberculosis, two days before a letter arrived saying I had been appointed a professor at the University of Berlin.
Answer:
Henrik Abel (18021829)
