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Maxim Gorky
Birth: Mar. 28, 1868
Death: Jun. 18, 1936

Author. The famed Russian short story writer, novelist, autobiographer and essayist, he was born Aleksei Maximovich Peshkov but start to write under pseudonym Gorki (Gorky) which means "bitter". The town he was born in, Nizhnii Novgorod, was later named "Gorky" in his honor. He lost his parents at an early age - his father died of cholera and his mother died of tuberculosis. The scene of his mother, wailing and mourning over her dead husband, opens his book of memoir "My Childhood". Orphaned at the age of 11, he experienced the deprivations of poverty. The most important person in his life in those years was his grandmother, whose fondness for literature and compassion for the downtrodden influenced him deeply. Receiving little education but endowed with an astonishing memory, he left home at the age of 12, and followed from one profession to another. On a Volga River steamer, he learned to read. In 1883 he was a worker in a biscuit factory, then a porter, baker's boy, fruit seller, railway employee, clerk to an advocate, and in 1891 an operative in a salt mill. Later he used later material from his wandering years in his books. In 1884 he failed to enter Kazan University, and in the late 1880s he was arrested for revolutionary activities. At the age of 19 he attempted suicide but survived when the bullet missed his heart, His lungs were damaged permanently in the attempt, which led to frequent bouts with tuberculosis. In 1892, he returned to Nizhny-Novgorod, where he took a job as a reporter for a provincial newspaper and continued his writing. His story “Chelkash” in 1893, the story of a harbor thief, was an immediate success, and by 1895 his works were appearing in Petersburg publications. In his early writing career Gorky became friends with Anton Chekhov, Leo Tolstoy, and Vladimir Lenin. Encouraged by Chekhov, he composed his most famous play, "The Lower Depths" which took much of the material from his short stories. He became involved in a secret printing press and was temporarily exiled to Arzamas, central Russia in 1902. In the same year he was elected to the Russian Academy, but election was declared invalid by the government and several members of the Academy resigned in protest. Because of his political activism, Gorky was constantly in trouble with the tsarists authorities. He joined the Social Democratic party's left wing, headed by Lenin. To raise money to Russian revolutionaries, he went to the United States in 1906. However, he was compelled to leave his hotel, not because of his political opinions, but because he traveled with Mlle. Andreieva, with whom he was not legally married. At that time, he had not obtained divorce from his first wife, Ekaterina Pavlovna, with whom he had two children. During his ill-fated mission to America to raise funds for the Bolshevik cause, he wrote in the Adirondack Mountains greater part of his classic novel, "The Mother", which appeared in 1906 to 1907. In 1913 he returned to Russia, and helped to found the first Workers' and Peasants' University, the Petrograd Theater, and the World Literature Publishing House. The first part of his acclaimed autobiographical trilogy, "My Childhood", appeared in 1913-14. It was followed by "In the World" (1916), and "My Universities" (1922). After Russian Revolution he enjoyed protected status, although in 1918 his protests against Bolsheviks dictatorial methods were silenced by Lenin's order. Dissatisfaction with the communist regime and its treatment of intellectuals lead to his voluntary exile during the 1920s. In 1924 to 1925 he lived in Sorrento, but persuaded by Stalin, he returned in 1931 to Russia. He founded a number of journals and became head of the Writers Union. Maxim Gorky died suddenly of pneumonia in his country home. Rumors have lived ever since that he may have been assassinated on Joseph Stalin orders. (bio by: Jelena) 
Family links: 
  Yekaterina Pavlovna Volzhina Peshkova (1876 - 1965)*
  Maxim Alexeyevich Peshkov (1897 - 1934)*
  Ekaterina Alekseyevna Peshkova (1898 - 1903)*
*Calculated relationship
Kremlin Wall
Moscow Federal City, Russia
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: Jelena
Record added: Jan 20, 2004
Find A Grave Memorial# 8298247
Maxim Gorky
Added by: Nymph Kellerman
Maxim Gorky
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