Srinivasa Aiyangar Ramanujan was born on December 22, 1887 in Erode, Tamil Nadu. His father worked in Kumbakonam as a clerk in a cloth merchant's shop. At the of five Ramanujan went to primary school in Kumbakonam. In 1898 at age 10, he entered the Town High School in Kumbakonam. At the age of eleven he was lent books on advanced trigonometry written by S. L. Loney by two lodgers at his home who studied at the Government college. He mastered them by the age of thirteen. Ramanujan was a bright student, winning academic prizes in high school.
At age of 16 his life took a decisive turn after he obtained a book titled" A Synopsis of Elementary Results in Pure and Applied Mathematics". The book was simply a compilation of thousands of mathematical results, most set down with little or no indication of proof. The book generated Ramanujan's interest in mathematics and he worked through the book's results and beyond. By 1904 Ramanujan had begun to undertake deep research. He investigated the series (1/n) and calculated Euler's constant to 15 decimal places. He began to study the Bernoulli numbers, although this was entirely his own independent discovery. He was given a scholarship to the Government College in Kumbakonam which he entered in 1904. But he neglected his other subjects at the cost of mathematics and failed in college examination. He dropped out of the college.
University of Madras gave Ramanujan a scholarship in May 1913 for two years and, in 1914, Hardy brought Ramanujan to Trinity College, Cambridge, to begin an extraordinary collaboration. Right from the start Ramanujan's collaboration with Hardy led to important results. In a joint paper with Hardy, Ramanujan gave an asymptotic formula for p(n). It had the remarkable property that it appeared to give the correct value of p(n), and this was later proved by Rademacher.
Ramanujan sailed to India on 27 February 1919 arriving on 13 March. However his health was very poor and, despite medical treatment, he died on April 6, 1920.