Sir Edmund Hillary was one of the two men who first climbed Mt. Everest all the way to the summit. He was a member of the first expedition to cross Antarctica and reach the South Pole over land, and he rendered aid to the Nepalese people, helping develop their society.
Sir Edmund Hillary: What He Achieved
- He was the first man ever to reach the top of Mt. Everest and he did so on May 29, 1953 at 11:30 a.m.
- He was immediately followed by Tenzing Norgay of Nepal.
- They were the only two men out of the four man expedition to successfully make it all the way.
- At 29,028 feet above sea level, these two men were at the highest spot in the world.
- Because of their lack of oxygen, they could only marvel at the view for 15 minutes before beginning the treacherous journey back down.
- For this accomplishment, he was knighted, as was John Hunt, the leader of the group.
Edmund and the South Pole
- He was in charge of the New Zealand section of the Commonwealth Trans-Antarctic Expedition from 1955 to 1958.
- The expedition was the first to cross the Antarctic overland via the south pole.
Humanitarian Efforts of Sir Edmund Hillary
- He had always been concerned about the plight of the Nepalese people.
- Starting in the 1960s, he assisted in building clinics, hospitals, and 17 schools.
- These projects needed supplies and equipment, so two air strips were built. This allowed more tourists and mountain climbers into the region and soon the people were cutting down large amounts of the forests.
- Hillary appealed to the government to make the area around Mt. Everest a national park, but the government didn’t have the knowledge or funds to make that happen.
- Hillary persuaded the New Zealand government to render aid.
For a time perspective of the details of Edmund Hillary’s life, check out the Edmund Hillary Timeline on YourDictionary.