The life and activity of the prominent scientist, naturalist, philosopher and thinker, social-political figure V.I. Vernadsky, whose name occupies one of the most honored places in world science along with Newton, Darwin, and Einstein, is covered. The biographical essay is prepared on the basis of his writings, diaries, letters, previously unknown or previously unavailable documents and materials. The biography is presented in the context of socio-political processes and events. The appendix contains the little known in Ukraine but very valuable local history of the young scientist. For historians, teachers, students, anyone interested in V. Vernadsky's fate, the history of science, the past of the Ukrainian state.