Franz Xaver Gruber (1787-1863) was born into a poor linen weaver's family in Hochburg, Austria. Although he was also destined to become a weaver, his first music teacher convinced Gruber's father that his son was very talented and should not be left to waste these talents.
After completing his musical education in Burghausen and after receiving a teaching certificate, he became a teacher in Arnsdorf, where he was active as teacher and organist until 1829. He also served as organist in the neighboring village of Oberndorf. In 1835 he won a position as choir director and organist in Hallein, where he could devote more time to his music. He is best known and loved for his Christmas song "Silent Night."