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Friedmann, Alexander Alexandrovich

Born Saint Petersburg, Russia, 4/16 June 1888

Died Leningrad (Saint Petersburg, Russia), 16 September 1925

Alexander Friedmann was a mathematician and cosmologist who first proposed the idea of a "Big Bang" Universe. His father, also Alexander Alexandrovich Friedmann, was a dancer and composer of ballet music; his mother, Ludmila Ignatievna Voyachek, was a pianist and music teacher. In 1906, Friedmann entered the University of Saint Petersburg where he studied mathematics with Vladimir Andreyevich Steklov and theoretical physics with Pavel Sigizmundovich Ehrenfest. In 1911, he married Ekaterina Petrovna Dorofeyeva, a well‐educated woman who was very devoted to him and offered her assistance by translating articles, reading proofs, and so forth. Yet, Friedmann divorced her after falling in love with Natalia Yevgenievna Malinina, a geophysicist, whom he married in 1923.

In 1913, after a series of examinations, Friedmann became a candidate for a master's