Gautama was born between 563 BCE and 480 BCE in Nepal. He was born as a Kshatriya, a Hindu.
He grew up in Kapilavastu. Siddhartha was destined by birth to the life of a prince. His father was a king who shielded him from religious teachings and from knowledge of human suffering. His father raised him in great luxury. At the age of 16, his father arranged his marriage to a cousin.
The prince reached the age of 29 with no experience of life outside the wall. He decided to leave his palace and saw a sick man, an old man and a corpse. After that he saw a wandering ascetic.
Gautama realized that he doesn't want to live the life of a prince anymore. He left the palace, shaved his head and put on a beggar's robe. He began his quest for enlightenment.
Renowned teachers taught Siddhartha about the many religious philosophies as well as how to meditate. After that he and five disciplines went to find enlightenment by themselves. They attempted to find release from suffering through physical discipline. Gautama realized that the key to enlightenment wasn't renouncing pleasure, it was the discipline of mind. He had to build up his strength for the effort, and started accepting food.
Siddhartha settled into meditation beneath a fig tree. He came a mythological battle in his mind against a demon called Mara. When the morning came, he realized enlightenment and became a Buddha.
At first Buddha refused to teach anyone, but eventually he held his first sermon to the five companions who had abandoned him. He devoted himself to teaching and gained hundreds of followers. He prescribed a path of practice through which people can realize enlightenment for themselves.
At the age of 80, the Buddha entered Nirvana and left his physical body behind. He abandoned the endless cycle of rebirth and death.