Born in Ireland on August 13, 1819, George Stokes was the youngest of six children. His father, a rector, directed his early education before sending him to a school in Dublin. Stokes attended Bristol College in England, followed by Pembroke College at Cambridge University, where he studied mathematics. He graduated in 1841 and was bestowed with many honors, including a fellowship that enabled him to remain at Cambridge. In 1849, Stokes was appointed Lucasian Professor of Mathematics and spent the rest of his life working at the prestigious school.