Born Laura Capon in Rome in 1907, she married Enrico Fermi in 1928. They had two children: a daughter, Nella, in 1931 and a son, Giulio (named after Enrico's older brother, who had died tragically in 1915), in 1936.
In 1938, the Fermis emigrated to the USA to escape the increasingly anti-Semitic politics of the Fascist government of Benito Mussolini. Laura was Jewish, though Enrico was not.
The Professors' Plot is unique to the short story. While Laura Fermi being Jewish is mentioned as being a possible factor in Enrico being executed, there is no suggestion that Laura was also killed in the novel.