Born c. 1015 in Tuscany and educated in Rome, Hildebrand served Popes Leo IX, Stephen IX, Nicholas II, and Alexander II until his election in 1073 in a variety of capacities. As Pope Gregory VII, he continued reform efforts against simony, clerical marriage, and lay investiture and advanced the primacy of the Roman Church within Christendom. His conflict with German king Henry IV dominated the last nine years of his rule.