Confucius was a Chinese teacher and thinker, who believed in people’s ability to improve themselves. His family name was Kong and Confucius is a European version of the Chinese name Kong- fuzi, meaning “Master Kong.” Confucianism is often called a religion, but it is really a system of values for living a good life.
Confucius was born in 551 BC in Qufu into a poor family. His exact birthday is not known, though many people in eastern Asia celebrate it on September 28. His father died when he was 3 years old and the mother educated the boy at home. Later teachers helped him learn many subjects, including music, arithmetic, chariot riding, calligraphy, shooting with a bow and arrow, Chinese poetry and history. At the age of nineteen Confucius married, but divorced four years later.