Walter Adolph Georg Gropius (1883-1969) is in many ways the villain of From Bauhaus to Our House. He was a German architect, born in Berlin, and was married to Alma Mahler, the famous composer Gustav Mahler's widow. He was greatly prominent in the pre-war German artistic community. Gropius became an architect like his father and great-uncle, though he could not draw. He often employed the help of colleagues, which included some of the book's other major characters, such as Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, and Le Corbusier. In 1910, Gropius established his own practice in Berlin, and in 1913, he published an article that had great influence on European modernist architects.