An apostle, a true believer, a martyr, a pope (the Catholics consider him the first such), a saint … a fairly eventful life for a Galilean fisherman. Originally named Simon (renamed Peter by Jesus), the fisherman in Bethsaida was born around 1 BC and was crucified around 67 AD. Nothing is known of his life before he met Jesus, but he and his brother Andrew left everything (including their families) when Jesus pronounced “follow me.”
Peter’s time with Jesus is put forth in the four canonical gospels, as well as the non-canonical 'Gospel of the Hebrews' and various letters and acts. He became the first apostle ordained by Jesus Christ himself in the early church. Peter served as witness to most of the miracles performed by Jesus and, along with John and James, witnessed the Shekinah Glory in the Transfiguration. Although he did deny Christ “three times” after the latter’s execution, Peter was the first to preach on Pentecost and to proclaim Christ to a Gentile. Peter began writing epistles and traveling to promote the new religion. Having been imprisoned by Herod and rescued by an angel, Peter wisely decided to depart Jerusalem for “another place” (Acts 12:1-18).
He ended up in Antioch, where he founded a church and served as its bishop for seven years. But he soon set his sights on Rome, the center of the world (at the time). Although “there is not a single piece of reliable literary evidence (and no archaeological evidence either) that Peter was ever in Rome” according to studies published in 2009 and 2013, virtually every Catholic (and most Protestant) scholars believe he was and, together with Paul, established the church there. For their troubles, both were executed during the last years of the reign of Nero.