Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was born in 1869 in India. When he was thirteen he married Kasturbai, age ten. They had four sons together before Gandhi took a vow of chastity; the two were life partners until her death in 1944. In 1888 Gandhi went to England to study law. After he received his degree he spent the next twenty years in South Africa where the stark realities of racism caused him to develop his theory of non-violent resistance to evil.
Gandhi returned to India in 1915 and traveled widely, taking stock of the political realities of his nation. He inspired others to use non-violent resistance against British rule and as a result was imprisoned for sedition. Even from prison his writings influenced the Indian nationalist movement that sought independence from Britain. After his release Gandhi initiated the salt protest, a wide-scale civil disobedience that claimed India's salt for India alone. "Quit India," he counseled the British. India claimed independence in 1947; Gandhi was called "the father of the nation."
Gandhi continued to influence others, especially when his fast to protest civil bloodshed provoked the combatants to pledge peace. He was assassinated by a Hindu fanatic on January 30, 1948.