Russian writer, moralist, and mystic, Tolstoy began his literary career by writing short stories as a soldier. The author of War and Peace and Anna Karenina, he lived poorly as a peasant under his wife's roof. Leaving home secretly, he died of pneumonia at a railway station. His doctrines founded a sect, and his birthplace became a place of pilgrimage. His writings on pacifism and his striving towards self-sufficiency and love of others have attracted adherents, including Gandhi, and he remained a formative influence on pacifist movements in the 20th Century.