Anton Pavlovich Chekhov was born on January 17, 1860, in Taganrog on the Sea of Azov. The son of the keeper of a small shop and the grandson of a serf, he had to improve his station in life the hard way. At sixteen, he was left to shift for himself while his father fled with the rest of the family to Moscow to escape a debtors' prison. After finishing school in his native town, Chekhov also went to Moscow where, with the aid of a scholarship, he entered the university to study medicine. To help with the family finances, he started publishing tales, anecdotes, jokes and articles. By the time he took his medical degree in 1884, writing had become his main interest and occupation. His literary reputation grew with the publication of the book Motley Stories in 1886. That same year he made the acquaintance of Alexey Suvorin, owner of the newspaper New Time, who invited him to contribute longer tales at a higher rate. In 1888, he was awarded the Pushkin Prize for the collection In the Twilight. This, and the publication of the long story The Steppe, marked the beginning of Chekhov's recognition as one of Russia's leading young writers. In the years following, he produced his first serious full-length play, Ivanov (1888), as well as a steady stream of short stories. The first production of his famous play The Sea Gull (1896) was a miserable failure. But in 1898, the play was revived at the Moscow Art Theater and proved a resounding success, as did the Theater's productions of The Three Sisters and The Cherry Orchard. In 1901 Chekhov married the actress Olga Knipper. He died of tuberculosis on July 2, 1904.Chekhov, Anton is the author of 'Chekhov The Major Plays', published 2001 under ISBN 9780451527769 and ISBN 0451527763.