Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche ( NEE-chə, NEE-chee, German: [ˈfʁiːdʁɪç ˈvɪlhɛlm ˈniːtʃə] or [ˈniːtsʃə]; 15 October 1844 – 25 August 1900) was a German philosopher, prose poet, cultural critic, philologist, and composer, whose work has exerted a profound influence on contemporary philosophy. He began his career as a classical philologist before turning to philosophy. He became the youngest person to hold the Chair of Classical Philology at the University of Basel in 1869 at the age of 24, but resigned in 1879 due to health problems that plagued him most of his life; he completed much of his core writing in the following decade. In 1889, at age 44, he suffered a collapse and afterward a complete loss of his mental faculties, with paralysis and probably vascular dementia. He lived his remaining years in the care of his mother until her death in 1897 and then with his sister Elisabeth Förster-Nietzsche. Nietzsche died in 1900, after experiencing pneumonia and multiple strokes.