Genghis Khan was a great leader who founded the Mongol Empire, the biggest land empire ever. But he had a tough life when he was young. As a child, his name was Temujin. His father, who was the leader of a Mongol group, was poisoned by a neighboring group called the Tatars. After that, Temujin and his family had no one to take care of them, and life was really hard. Sometimes he was very hungry and even had to eat grass.
Even though he faced hunger and other difficulties, Temujin earned the trust of Wang Khan, who was a friend of his father and the leader of the Keraites. He proved himself by fighting bravely against a tribe that had captured Wang Khan’s wife. Because of this, Temujin became a Khan himself in 1189. He went on to defeat the Tartars, the tribe that had killed his father and became very powerful. But some people were scared of his growing influence, and Wang Khan became jealous. When Wang Khan tried to kill him, Temujin had to run away with only 19 followers.
But Temujin had a big idea. He said, “Even though we are from different clans, let’s unite as brothers!” He didn’t follow the old Mongol way of organizing the army based on clans. Instead, he made a new kind of army with units of 10, 100, and 1,000 soldiers based on the number ten. He treated all his soldiers fairly and shared the rewards of war with them. His army became very strong. After he became the Khan of all Mongols, he changed his name to Genghis Khan in 1206. Genghis Khan conquered not only the desert paths of the Silk Road but also Central Asia, northern China, and southwestern Asia. He died in 1227 while returning from a battle. Even though he lost his parents when he was young, Genghis Khan became an emperor who conquered a vast land from Asia to Europe. Even today, his life inspires many people to work hard and be humble.