Johannes Gutenberg

Quick Facts

Full NameJohannes Gensfleisch zur Laden zum Gutenberg
Date of BirthApproximately 1393–1406
Place of BirthMainz, Holy Roman Empire (now Germany)
Date of DeathFebruary 3, 1468
OccupationsInventor, craftsman
Known ForInventing the movable-type printing press, introducing movable type to Europe
ContributionsDevelopment of a process for mass-producing movable type, use of oil-based ink for printing books, the invention of a wooden printing press, the invention of adjustable molds
Major WorkThe Gutenberg Bible, the first printed version of the Bible
CommemorationCelebrated around the world, the founding of the Gutenberg Museum in Mainz to commemorate his 500th birth anniversary, Time-Life magazine’s pick for the most important invention
Early Life and BackgroundBorn into a wealthy family in Mainz, Germany; father was a patrician and merchant, mother was of commoner status; family faced social and economic challenges

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