The apostle Matthew, also called Levi, was the son of Alphaeus and the brother of the apostle James the Less, or, James, son of Alphaeus.
By profession, Matthew was a tax collector before being called by Jesus to follow Him.
Matthew probably remained in the Holy Land, as tradition says, for 15 years and after this, encouraged by the reports of the success of other Christian leaders among the Jews (the Diaspora) and also among the Gentiles, he went forth on several missionary journeys. It is certain that he went to Persia and the mysterious area in Persia known as "Ethiopia." It is also possible that he traveled to the Ethiopia in Africa as the Roman Catholic tradition indicates and there is also a belief that Matthew was martyred in Egypt upon his return from Ethiopia in Africa but this is not certain. There is a tradition which says that Matthew was martyred in Parthia.
Matthew was a gifted writer, an ardent disciple, and was perhaps the best educated of any of the Twelve Apostles. He was the writer of The Gospel of Matthew.
The information above is compiled from the book "The Search for the Twelve Apostles" by William Steuart McBirnie Ph.D, Copyright 1973