Lao Tzu is considered the founder of Taoism and the author of the Tao Te Ching, a classic text of Taoist philosophy. He is said to have lived in ancient China around the 6th century BCE, although the exact dates and details of his life are uncertain and the subject of much debate.
According to tradition, Lao Tzu was an older contemporary of Confucius and a high-ranking official in the royal court. He is said to have grown disillusioned with the ways of the world and, upon his retirement, journeyed to the western border of China, where a guard at the border requested that he write down his wisdom for posterity. This text became the Tao Te Ching, a book of 81 short chapters that offers insights on the nature of the Tao and the importance of living in harmony with the world.
Despite the lack of concrete historical evidence, Lao Tzu is widely regarded as a sage and a central figure in Taoist philosophy, and his teachings continue to influence people around the world today.