Francois Marie Arouet was born on November 21, 1694 in Paris. Voltaire was a nickname given to him and he became one of the greatest writers and philosophers b/c of his style, intelligence, and keen sense of justice. At the age of 16 he left school and made new friends. The Paris society enjoyed his company b/c of his cleverness, humor, and his ability to write verses. In 1717, Voltaire was arrested for writing a series of satirical verses ridiculing the French government, and was sent to the Bastille. He spent 11 months in prison and while he was there he wrote his first major play. Then Voltaire made the mistake of making fun of a powerful nobleman and he was given the choice of exile or imprisonment for a punishment. Voltaire chose exile and he moved to England. After his return to Paris he wrote a book about English customs and institution. The book was said to criticize the French government and he was forced to leave Paris again. He then moved to French-Swiss border where hr lived until he died at he age of 83 in 1778.