Sholom Aleichem (March 2 1859 [O.S. February 18] - May 13, 1916) was a popular humorist and Russian Jewish author of Yiddish literature, including novels, short stories, and plays. He did much to promote Yiddish writers, and was the first to pen children's literature in Yiddish. His work has been widely translated. The musical "Fiddler on the Roof" (1964), loosely based on Sholom Aleichem's stories about his character Tevye the Milkman, was the first commercially successful English-language play about Eastern European Jewish life.