Born on 29 January 1860 in Tangarog, southern Russia. His grandfather was a serf who managed to buy himself free. His father owned a small shop. Čechov went to Moscow in 1879 to study and became a doctor. He became ill with tuberculosis at a young age and spent time in various health resorts in southern Russia and Western Europe beginning in 1898. Čechov died on 15 July 1904 in Badenweiler.