Fyodor Dostoevsky
Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky

was born October 30, 1821, in Moscow's Hospital for the Poor. He was the second of seven children born to a former army surgeon, who was murdered in 1839 when his own serfs poured vodka down his throat until he died.

Following a boarding school education in Moscow with his older brother Mikhail, Fyodor was admitted to the Academy of Military Engineers in St. Petersburg in 1838. He completed his studies in 1843, graduating as a lieutenant, but was quickly convinced that he preferred a career in writing to being mired in the bureaucratic Russian military. In 1844 he published a translation of Balzac's Eugenie Grandet, and he followed this two years later with his first original published work, Poor Folk, a widely-acclaimed short novel championed by the influential critic Vissarion Belinsky./p>