Lama Tsongkhapa (a name derived from his birthplace, Tsongkha), also known by his ordination name Losang Drakpa and the title Je Rinpoche (meaning Precious Lord), lived from 1357-1419, dedicating his life to a great revival of Buddhist study, practice, and realisation in Tibet. His legacy spread throughout the lands of Tibet, various Chinese dynasties, Mongolian territories, and even into Russia, before spreading throughout the world from the mid-20th century onward.
Master Tsongkhapa was steadfast in his study, contemplation, and practice of the Buddha's teachings. Having come under the care of great masters since childhood, Lama Tsongkhapa gained vast knowledge through having studied all of the Buddha's teachings that were available in Tibetan at the time, as well as the collection of commentaries by Indian and early Tibetan masters. He devoted years of his life to intensive practice retreats in isolated hermitages. His vast activities of teaching, debating, and composing clarified many aspects of the Buddhist path, and his major written works are widely considered to be some of the most eloquent expressions of Buddhist thought in Tibet. Master Tsongkhapa was also deeply concerned for the survival of the pure monastic tradition in Tibet, and made great contributions through his teachings on Vinaya and his example of a pure monk's conduct. At the same time, he had mastered all the stages of tantric practice.
Master Tsongkhapa's disciples urged him to establish a monastery in the later years of his life. Responding to these requests, he founded Ganden monastery near Lhasa, and his disciples came to be known as the Riwo Gandenpas, later called Gelugpas. His chief disciple Gyaltsab Darma Rinchen became his successor, starting the lineage of the Ganden Tripas (Ganden throne-holder) who acts as the head of the tradition for a fixed term. The title is currently held by the 104th Ganden Tripa Losang Tenzin.