Luther is one of the most significant figures in Christian history. His questioning of Catholic Church practices precipitated the Protestant Reformation, which resulted in a permanent break with Roman Catholicism and established Protestantism as one of the three major theological segments of Christianity (the third being Eastern Orthodoxy).
There is some controversy over whether or not Luther actually nailed his 95 Theses to the door of the Wittenberg Church. What is known is that his Theses were rapidly distributed, first among his peers and not long after among many others in Germany. The role of the printing press in the dissemination of his work and the resulting Reformation is undeniably significant.
Born: Nov. 10, 1483
Excommunicated: January 3, 1521
Appearance before Diet of Worms: April 17, 1521
Died: Feb. 18, 1546
This public-domain graphic from the 1902 publication History of the World is free for your use. Part of the Medieval and Renaissance History Portrait Gallery here at this site.
On the Web
Causes and results of the permanent fracturing of the Catholic Church and the individuals and movements that brought it about.