Maxim Gorki, Russian author, 1868-1936

Alexei Maximovich Peshkov, known as Maxim Gorky, was a founder of the socialist realism literary method, political activist and five-time nominee for the Nobel Prize in Literature. Prior to his renown as an author, he frequently changed jobs and roamed across the Russian Empire; these experiences would later influence his writing. Active in the emerging Marxist social-democratic movement, Gorky opposed the Tsarist regime, and for a time closely associated himself with Vladimir Lenin. For a significant part of his life, he was exiled from Russia and later the Soviet Union. In 1932, he returned to the USSR on Joseph Stalin's personal invitation.