- NAME: Edmund Hillary
- OCCUPATION: Athlete, Explorer, Philanthropist
- BIRTH DATE: July 20, 1919
- DEATH DATE: January 11, 2008
- EDUCATION: Tuakau Primary School, Auckland Grammar School, University of Auckland
- PLACE OF BIRTH: Auckland, New Zealand
- PLACE OF DEATH: Auckland, New Zealand
- Full Name: Edmund Percival Hillary
- AKA: Sir Edmund Hillary
- Nickname: Ed
- AKA: Edmund Hillary
Best Known For
20th century explorer and mountaineer Edmund Hillary was the first to reach the peak of Mt. Everest, along with fellow climber Tenzing Norgay.
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Sir Edmund Hillary, who had been cited as "New Zealand's most trusted individual," died on January 11, 2008, in Auckland. Flags were lowered to half-mast.
Despite all his success and acclaim as an adventurer and author, Hillary was always described as a humble man. He suffered a devastating loss when his wife and youngest daughter were killed in a plane crash in 1975.
Devoted to helping the Sherpa people, Hillary founded the Himalayan Trust, which built schools,
hospitals and transportation hubs in Nepal. Hillary wrote that he was proud that he and his team just didn't go in and tell the Nepalese what they needed: "We always responded to the wishes of the local people." He served as New Zealand's high commissioner to Nepal, as well as India and Bangladesh, from 1985 to 1988, and was made an honorary citizen of Nepal in 2003, on the 50th anniversary of reaching the summit.
Various geographic regions bear Hillary's name, and the New Zealand five-dollar note bore his image. Time magazine listed him as one of the 100 most influential people of the 20th century.
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Throughout the centuries, brave explorers have fearlessly traveled the globe and beyond to discover new lands, people, animal species, riches and glory. Ferdinand Magellan of Portugal proved the world is round with his mission to sail around the world. His fellow countryman Vasco da Gama commanded the first European ship around the southern tip of Africa to reach India by sea. Norseman Leif Eriksson is regarded as the first European to reach North America, nearly 500 years before Christopher Columbus, who is credited with discovering the “New World” of the Americas. Juan Ponce de León scoured Puerto Rico and Florida in his quest for the fountain of youth. Meriwether Lewis and William Clark blazed new trails during their Corps of Discovery Expedition across the western half of the United States. Traveling to new heights of discovery were mountain climber Sir Edmund Hillary, the first man to reach the peak of Mount Everest, and U.S. astronaut Neil Armstrong, the first human to walk on the moon. These intrepid explorers and more have made an indelible mark on human history. See all Explorers.
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