Joseph Smith began the Mormon religion. As a teenager Smith saw visions sent to him from God of how to live. After these visions Smith began to write a book which he named The Book of Mormon. Joseph Smith began to convert men and women to Mormonism and lead them to Ohio, Missouri, and Illinois to live.
Joseph Smith was born December 23rd, 1805 in Sharon, Vermont. Smith had 30-40 wives including a 14 year old girl. Joseph Smith was sent to jail in 1844 for treason after he and other Mormon believers tried to silence an angry mob. While in jail a mob of angry men got into the jail, took Smith, and lynched him.
Joseph Smith started to get involved in the Mormon religion because of the visions god sent him. The Mormon religion is successful today because after Smith's death Brigham Young continued to teach his beliefs.
Mormon History: Martyrdom of Joseph Smith - LDS