Famous Explorers in History

Information about the most famous people in history would not be complete without information on historys famous explorers. Below we have listed a few of these brave men and women who explored our world. Where some of these people set out on great voyages, like Christopher Columbus, others made great land journeys like Louis and Clark. Some of these explorers are well known and their adventures taught to kids in almost every school and there are some who you may never have heard of. Below you will find a short synopsis on just a few of these great explorers; on the other pages of this site you will find more detailed interesting facts on how these great people and other famous explorers set out on great explorations and discovered new worlds.

Leif Ericson

This amazing Viking explorer is the first European to discover America. Leif Ericson sailed to North America around 998 AD which is around five hundred years before Christopher Columbus reached the new world. Just how or why he made this amazing voyage is not certain; there are conflicting stories. He may have been seeking out North America based on hearing about it from other Norse sailors. It is also possible the discovery was accidental and that his ships were blown off course while sailing back to Greenland from Norway.

Christopher Columbus

When listing famous explorers Christopher Columbus is perhaps the most famous. In 1492 this Italian explorer sailed from Spain with three ships; the Nina, Pinta and Santa Maria in search of a westward route to the East Indies (the Indian subcontinent and Southeastern Asia). Instead of reaching the East Indies he landed in the Bahamas. Up until it was proven Leif Ericson sailed to America centuries before him, he was credited with discovering the New World. However he is credited with opening up the New World to European colonization.

Ferdinand Magellan

Although killed during the voyage, the expedition led by this famed Portuguese explorer was the first to circumnavigate the world. His expedition fleet, financed by Spain, which consisted of five ships left from Seville on August 10th 1519. Ferdinand Magellan was in search of a westward route to Indonesia and the modern day Maluku Islands (referred to as the "Spice Islands"). Although he was killed in the Philippines (at the Battle of Mactan) his fleet was successful in sailing around the world.

Lewis and Clark

Army officers Meriwether Lewis and William Clark are famous for their expedition of the Western United States. Soon after the Louisiana Purchase in April 1803 U.S. president Thomas Jefferson sent Lewis and Clark along with thirty three other men (named the Corps of Discovery) to explore the newly acquired land. They received great assistance from an American Indian woman named Sacagawea who served as an interpreter and guide. See the list below of accomplishments of this expedition.

Lewis and Clark Expedition Accomplishments

For more information on Lewis and Clark visit Lewis and Clark Facts .

Conclusion - Famous Explorers in History

The pages within this section of famous people in history will describe many famed explorers. Read on to learn more about these men and women from many different eras in history who took great risk to explore our world.