Challenged Christianity and traditional morality with books like Beyond Good and Evil, Twilight of the Idols, and Thus Spake Zarathustra.
His work on the will to power and aesthetics have inspired artists and thinkers ever since his writings were first published.
He claimed that Fyodor Dostoevsky was a great influence on his thinking.
He attended the University of Bonn studying theology and classical philology, but lost his faith and dropped out after one semester. He would go on to become a lecturer and teacher himself.
His father died in 1849 from brain ailments and his brother died the next year.