Rabbi Dov Ber was the eldest son and successor of Rabbi Schneur Zalman, the founder of Chabad. Rabbi Dov Ber made Lubavitch—a small town in White Russia—his residence, and it continued to be the center of Chabad for over 100 years. He adopted the family name of "Schneuri," after his father, but succeeding generations changed it to "Schneersohn," or "Schneerson."

Rabbi Dovber is remembered for his prolific writing of Chassidic discourses and his unique intellectual abilities and power of concentration and contemplation.