Michel de Nostredame was born on December 14, 1503 in the French village of St. Remi. He was the eldest son of Jewish parents, but was later forced to convert to Catholicism by the Inquisition. He studied the arts at University at Avignon but eventually graduated from the medical school at the University of Montpellier. Around 1534 he married and started a family. Tragically the plague, which he had fought successfully previously in Montpellier and surrounding areas, took the lives of his wife and two children. For the next six years Nostradamus traveled throughout parts of Italy and France. In 1554 he settled in the town of Salon, France and married his second wife, Anne Ponsart Gemelle, with whom he had three sons and three daughters. In 1555, at the age of 52, Nostradamus published his first collection of Centuries, sets of a hundred quatrains each. In 1564 he was appointed Royal Physician to King Charles IX.
On the night of July 1, 1566 he offered his last prediction to his priest. In response to the priest's farewell words “Until tomorrow”, Nostradamus reputedly answered: “You will not find me alive at sunrise.”