• Today's Birthday

    Sir Edmund Hillary
    1919–2008, New Zealand mountain climber and explorer.
    Sir Edmund Hillary

He went on many mountain-climbing expeditions before 1953, when he and Tenzing Norkay of Nepal were the first people to reach the summit of Mt. Everest. He was later knighted by Queen Elizabeth II.

In 1958, leading a five-person group by dog sled and snow tractor across 1,200 mi (1,931 km) of Antarctica to the South Pole, Hillary became part of the first group since 1912 to reach the Pole by overland route. In 1960 he embarked on a search for the abominable snowman. A year later he suffered a mild cerebral stroke while climbing Mt. Makalu (27,790 ft; 8,470 m) in Nepal. He was named New Zealand's high commissioner to India in 1984.


Hillary's works include High Adventure (1955), the story of his Everest climb, and No Latitude for Error (1961), which recounts the South Pole expedition.

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