For questions about the Buddha (Siddartha Gautama) as a person - his life, sayings, actions, etc.
Siddhārtha Gautama (Sanskrit, Siddhāttha Gotama in Pali) lived from 563 to 483 BCE1 in the North of India. At age 35 he discovered the 'Four Noble Truths' and attained enlightenment. Thus he became "the Buddha", the awakened or enlightened one. Gautama started to teach what he had learned and over the centuries these teachings evolved into what we now call Buddhism.
It has been said that there were other Buddhas before Gautama, but since we know little about earlier Buddhas Gautama is usually refered to as 'the Buddha' or 'Gautama Buddha'. A lot of other names are used for him as well, the most common alternative is 'Sakyamuni' (Pali, Shakyamuni in Sanskrit) which means the wise of the Sakya clan.
Use this tag for questions about the Buddha (Siddartha Gautama) as a person - his life, sayings, actions, etc.
1) Most historians use these dates, but the exact date is uncertain and there are alternatives. More info here.