France Anne Córdova was born in 1947 in Paris, France. So far in her life, Córdova has become an accomplished astrophysicist, editor and educational administrator.
Córdova is the oldest of 12 children and grew up east of Los Angeles. She went to Stanford University where she graduated cum laude with a bachelor's degree in English. During her time at Stanford she conducted studies in Oaxaca, Mexico. There she did field work on the Zapotec Indians pueblo. She got her PHD in physics from the California Institute of Technology in 1970.
Other career highlights; she was the youngest person ever to become a chief scientist at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Before going to school for physics, Córdova wrote for magazines and a cookbook.
Córdova held several positions as a college administrator, including being named President of Purdue University, Chancellor at the University of California, Riverside, and Vice-Chancellor at at the University of California, Santa Barbara.
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