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Louis Pasteur's father had been a soldier in Napoleon's army. After Louis
graduated he went to the Royal College in Besancon where he earned his B.A.
and then a Bachelor of Science degree two years later at the age of twenty. In
1847 he received a doctorate degree and became a professor at age twenty-six.
He fell in love with and married Marie Laurent and they had five children. His
research led to the process of pasteurization of milk to kill viruses and
harmful bacteria. He named the new science bacteriology and suggested a new
theory, The Germ Theory of Disease. He believed that diseases were caused by
germs attacking the body from the outside. he suffered a stroke and paralysis.
For several months he was completely paralyzed. He was only 45 years old.
After two years he began to recover the use of his body. Pasteur devoted the
rest of his life developing vaccines for people against such diseases as
cholera, diphtheria, tuberculosis and smallpox. He developed a vaccine for
rabies. Thousands of people since that time have received rabies vaccinations
and been saved from getting the disease which is almost always fatal.