Maria Montessori, born in Italy in 1870, dedicated her life to learning how best to educate children—particularly the poorest, most challenged children—during their vulnerable beginnings. Today her legacy is evident worldwide. She died in the Netherlands in 1952. John Chattin-McNichols, Ph.D., is the President of the American Montessori Society and Professor of Education at Seattle University. He is the author and editor of several books on Montessori education.