Sir Edmund Hillary was a well known explorer and mountain climber. He was the first person to climb Mount Everest along with Sherpa Tenzing Norgay. He was born on July 20, 1919 in Auckland, New Zealand. His complete name was Edmund Percival Hillary. He completed his first major climb in 1939 when he reached the peak of Mount Ollivier. After he finished school, he took up beekeeping as a profession. This job allowed him to continue his mountain climbing.
Quick Facts: –
- In 1943, Hillary joined the air force as a navigator and spent his spare time climbing in the Southern Alps.
- He joined the NZ expedition to the Himalayas and then joined the British team looking for a possible route to the summit of Mount Everest.
- In 1953, he joined a British team led by Colonel Hunt and then became the first person to reach the summit.
- He married Louise Rose after the Everest expedition. They had three children: Peter, Sarah and Belinda.
- His wife Louise and daughter Belinda died in a plane crash in 1975.
- In 1995, he was awarded the Order of the Garter by Queen Elizabeth II.
- Edmund Hillary founded the Himalayan Trust in 1964 to build schools and hospitals for the Sherpa people in Nepal.
- He became New Zealand High Commissioner to India in 1984.
- In 2008, Lukla Airport in Nepal was named Tenzing-Hillary Airport.
- Edmund Hillary was made an honorary citizen of Nepal on the 50th anniversary of his ascension of Mount Everest.
- He was the first living person to appear on New Zealand’s currency. The $5 note showed him along with a tractor that he used to reach the South Pole.
- He died on January 11, 2008 in Auckland, New Zealand.