Chekhov was born on January 29, 1860, he grew up working in his father's store, and worked hard as a child, being obedient and to his family. He started writing at age 17, was an excellent student who graduated from high school and went on to study medicine at the University of Moscow.
He published his first story in 1880 in a Moscow magazine, becoming one of the most beloved short story writers in Russia.
"His audience demanded laughter above all things, and, with his deep sense of the ridiculous, Chekhov asked nothing better. His stories, though often based on themes profoundly tragic, are penetrated by the light and subtle satire that has won him his reputation as a great humorist."
Chekhov became a doctor, but found that he made more money as a writer, contributing humorous stories about Russian life, marriage, relationships and silly situations. He famously mastered the one act play.
Chekhov's writing focuses on the relationship of marriage, examining infidelity, the whims of men and women, while revealing profound insight into human relationships.
His characters reflect reality, I enjoy reading Chekhov, especially because his characters often start out as arrogant superior know-it-alls and end up learning a serious life lesson before the end of the story. His characters can almost seem cartoonish in nature, but when you look closer, you see that they may be slightly exaggerated for humor, but still illustrate real life situations, feelings and attitudes.
"Chekhov was awarded the Pushkin Prize in 1888. Next year he was elected a member of the Society of Lovers of Russian Literature. In 1900 he became a member of the Academy of Sciences in St. Petersburg, but resigned his post two years later as a protest against the cancellation by the authorities of Gorky's election to the Academy."
In 1901, he married Olga Knipper, an actress who had acted in many of his plays. Chekhov died in July 1904
For more details on Chekhov check the two links below.