On This Day

Robert Peary

Arctic Explorer Robert Peary

Full Name: Robert Edwin Peary
Profession: Arctic Explorer

Nationality:
United States of America
American

Why Famous: Polar explorer and naval officer Robert Peary has been called the grand old man of polar exploration. Peary was ambitious in his efforts for fame by discovering then one of the last unknown regions on earth. In 1891 Peary became the first person to travel across Greenland and confirm that it was an island.

In 1909 on his third attempt to the north pole he claimed to have been successful and the first person to reach its geographic center. His claims contrasted with those of a former shipmate Frederick Cook who also laid claim to having been the first to reach the North Pole in April 1908 and were widely debated at the time.

However Peary's story and claim ultimately became the one most believed. This was until the 1980s when a reassessment of the two cases by The National Geographic concluded that Peary's expedition was probably 50–100 km (30–60 miles) short.

Born: May 6, 1856
Birthplace: Cresson, Pennsylvania, USA
Star Sign: Taurus

Died: February 20, 1920 (aged 63)

Historical Events

  • 1908-07-06 Robert Peary's arctic expedition sails from NYC for the north pole
  • 1909-04-06 North Pole reached by Americans Robert Peary & Matthew Henson
  • 1909-09-06 New York Times headline announces American explorer Robert Peary had discovered the North Pole 5 months earlier

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