Johann Wolfgang Goethe was born in Frankfurt am Main on August 28, 1749. If you ask people who the most famous German poet is, most of them will probably name him. Goethe had a very eventful life. He was interested in a wide range of subjects, travelled a great deal (his report on his "Italian Journey" still forms part of the luggage of many a tourist to Italy today) and, as a young man, he broke a lot of ladies’ hearts. His novel "The Sufferings of Young Werther", the story of a tragic love, became famous in 1774. Goethe also achieved great fame for his "Faust", a work that many educated
people like to quote from. But it was not just as a writer that he was highly respected. In Weimar, where he lived until the end of his life, he was a Privy Councillor and thus a member of the government. In 1782 he was ennobled by the emperor, and from then on was called Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. Besides writing, one of his great passions was nature. He described natural phenomena and also developed a theory of colours. He and the other great poet of his time, Friedrich Schiller
, were rivals while mutually admiring each other. On 22 March 1832 Goethe died at the ripe old age of 82.