Leopold Kronecker 1823-1891
Leopold Kronecker was born in Liegnitz to a well-to-do Jewish family, and received the best possible education. He studied mathematics at Berlin University. However, instead of mathematics he applied himself to commerce, managing the estate of his late uncle and working successfully until he had made enough money to be able to devote himself fully to mathematics. In 1848 he married the daughter of his uncle, Fanny Prausnitzer.
He taught at Berlin from 1861, and, in 1883, was appointed professor. Kronecker was a highly cultured man who used his wealth to patronize the arts. He also had a deep interest in philosophy and Christian theology, although he did not become a believer until 1890, just a year before his death – saved, as it were, by the skin of his teeth.
Kronecker was considered the greatest German algebraist of all time. His mathematical work was almost entirely in the fields of number theory and higher algebra, although he also made some contributions to the theory of elliptic functions. He was also one of the first to understand thoroughly and use Evariste Galois’s work in the theory of equations. The Kronecker delta function is named for him.
J J O’Connor and E F Robertson Biography, retrieved 26/10/09 (recommended reading)
Brittanica Encyclopedia on-line
Frobenius, Gedächtnissrede auf Leopold Kronecker, Berlin, 1893;
H. Weber, in the Zweiter Jahresbericht der Deutschen Mathematiker.S.
Jewish Encyclopedia online