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Isambard Kingdom Brunel's Biography

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Isambard Kingdom Brunel was born on 9 April 1806 in Portsmouth. His father, Sir Marc Isambard Brunel was a French engineer who had fled France during the Revolution and ended up marrying Sophia Kingdom, an English woman.

Isambard Kingdom Brunel went to France when he was 14 to study mathematics and science and he became an apprentice to a watchmaker, but he soon returned to England and worked with his father, initially on building a tunnel under the River Thames from Rotherhithe to Wapping.

In 1831 Brunel's designs won the competition for the Clifton Suspension Bridge. The bridge's construction was not completed until after Isambard Kingdom Brunel had died.

Isambard Kingdom Brunel is also known for his work as chief engineer of the Great Western Railway, leading to an effective link between London to Bristol, incorporating tunnels, bridges and viaducts.

He also designed famous ships including the Great Western, which launched in 1837 and was the first steamship to cross the Atlantic. The Great Britain and the Great Eastern followed.

Isambard Kingdom Brunel died of a stroke in September 1859. He and his wife Mary had 3 children.

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