Laura Fermi
Historical Figure
Nationality: United States (born in Italy)
Date of Birth: 1907
Date of Death: 1977
Cause of Death: Stomach cancer
Religion: Judaism
Occupation: Author of Non-Fiction, Activist
Spouse: Enrico Fermi
Children: Nella, Giulio
Fictional Appearances:
POD: May 30, 1942
Appearance(s): In the Balance
Tilting the Balance
Type of Appearance: Direct
Joe Steele
POD: 1878;
Relevant POD: July, 1932
Novel or Story?: Both
Type of Appearance: Contemporary reference

Laura Fermi (16 June 1907 - 26 December 1977) was the wife of Italian-American physicist Enrico Fermi.

Born Laura Capon in Rome in 1907, she married Enrico Fermi in 1928. They had two children: a daughter, Nella, in 1931 and a son, Giulio (named after Enrico's older brother, who had died tragically in 1915), in 1936.

In 1938, the Fermis emigrated to the USA to escape the increasingly anti-Semitic politics of the Fascist government of Benito Mussolini. Laura was Jewish, though Enrico was not.

Laura Fermi in Worldwar[]

At the time of the Race Invasion of Tosev 3, Laura Fermi was residing in New York City, while her husband worked on the American atomic bomb project at the University of Chicago during World War II.[1] When the Race's invasion forced everyone connected with the project to evacuate, Laura joined her husband in Chicago, and the whole lab moved to Denver.[2] During the trek, Laura was present for the wedding of Sam Yeager and Barbara Larssen.[3] She and Erico were also the first people to learn that Barbara's first husband, Jens, was still alive, and that Barbara was now pregnant with Sam Yeager's child.[4]

Laura Fermi in Joe Steele[]

Laura Fermi's Jewish heritage was enough to convince President Joe Steele that her husband, Enrico was part of the "Professors' Plot". Enrico was executed in 1946.

Literary Comment[]

The Professors' Plot is unique to the short story, although the idea that Laura's Jewishness is a possible factor in Enrico's death sentence is alluded to in the novel.[5]


  1. In the Balance, pg. 94.
  2. Tilting the Balance, Chs. 1-7, generally.
  3. Id., at pg. 88
  4. Id. at pg. 192-193.
  5. Joe Steele, pg. 392, HC.