She grew up the daughter of a pharmacist in the small Danish town of Slagelse, some 50 miles south-west of Copenhagen. She was studying French for a private teacher's certificate, when in 1910 she met the brothers Niels and Harald Bohr, friends of her own brothers. A year later she was engaged to Niels, and in 1912 they were married in a brief civil ceremony, and they had six sons. She acted for years as her husband's assistant, taking dictation and typing the numerous drafts of his scientific papers he was in the habit of producing. She was more than just his assistant, however, she was also a sounding board for many of his scientific ideas.