Suzanne Blanche Marguerite Gros was born on January 19, 1878, in Laon, France, the capital of the Aisne Department, located about 140 km north of Paris. Her father, Victor Antoine (b. 1844), was a successful carriage maker, and her mother, Esther Arthémise Marie née Thomas (b. 1851), was a homemaker. Suzanne was an only child, as her 3 siblings all died in infancy. When she was 6 years old, her father died of tuberculosis. Because the family was well-off financially, Suzanne was able to complete secondary school in Laon despite her father’s death, and she had a typical “bourgeoise” upbringing for the era, including instruction in art, music, sewing, and etiquette.