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Edmund Hillary

Sir Edmund Hillary (born July 20, 1919) is a New Zealand mountaineer[?] and explorer, most famous for the first successful climb of Mount Everest. He reached the 29,035-foot summit on May 29, 1953 with Sherpa guide Tenzing Norgay.

Edmund Hillary on the New Zealand 5 dollar bill
Born in Tuakau, Auckland he started climbing in his teens, making his first significant climb in 1939. During World War II he was an airforce navigator. He was part of an unsuccessful New Zealand expedition to Everest in 1951 before joining the successful British attempt of 1953, he climbed ten other peaks in the Himalayas on further visits in 1956, 1960-61, 1963-65. He also reached the South Pole, as part of the British Commonwealth Trans-Antarctic Expedition, on January 4, 1958.

He was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II on July 16, 1953.

He has devoted much of his life towards helping the Sherpa people of Nepal through the Himalayan Trust[?] which he founded and to which he has devoted much of his time and energy. Through his efforts he has succeeded in building many schools and hospitals in this remote region of the Himalayas. He has stated that he regards this as his most important life' work. He is also Honorary President of the American Himalayan Foundation, a US non-profit that also helps improve the ecology and living conditions in the Himalayas.

To mark the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the first successful ascent of Everest, the Nepalese Government conferred honorary citizenship upon Sir Edmund at a special golden jubilee celebration in the capital Kathmandu. Sir Edmund is the first foreign national to receive such an honour from the Nepalese.

External Links

Himalayan Trust Site (http://www.himalayan-trust.org)

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