Sir Edmund Hillary
"The greatness of a man is not in how much wealth he acquires, but in his integrity and his ability to affect those around him positively".
Arguably the greatest adventurer of the twentieth century, Sir Edmund Hillary is remembered not only for being the first man to scale Mount Everest (along with Nepali Sherpa Tenzig Norgay), but also for the amazing legacy of schools and hospitals he helped leave behind in the Himalayan Kingdom of Nepal. He himself was quoted as saying: "I believe that of all the things I have done, exciting though many of them have been, there's no doubt in my mind that the most worthwhile have been the establishing of schools and hospitals, and the rebuilding of monasteries in the mountains."
Sir Edmund Hillary was without doubt the most iconic mountaineer of all time, and with that in mind, we present to you ten facts about the big man himself, to inspire you to conquer your own Everest. As Sir Edmund said
"It is not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves".
1) Tall Order
Sir Edmund was something of a mountain himself, standing at a not inconsiderable 6 feet 5 inches tall!
2) He Came From a Land Downer
Sir Edmund Hillary was born on July 20, 1919 in Auckland, New Zealand. He is often mistakenly thought to be British. This is probably because the expedition of which he was a part when he successfully climbed Everest was a British expedition, and also because of the close historical relationship between the UK and New Zealand.
3) An Ice Pick Through the Heart of Hitlerism
Sir Edmund served as a navigator with the New Zealand Royal Air Force during WWII.
4) Arise, Sir Edmund
He was knighted by the young Queen Elizabeth II in 1953. This is why he had the title of "Sir".
5) Birds of a Feather Flock Together
In a feat almost too good to be true, Sir Edmund reached the North Pole with first man on the moon Neil Armstrong in 1985! Incidentally, he had already reached the South Pole in 1958. As such, Sir Edmund was the first man to have ever stood on Mount Everest AND both poles!
6) Picture ON The Paper!
In 1992, a picture of Sir Edmund was put on the five New Zealand Dollars note. This made Sir Edmund the first living New Zealander to have his image on the New Zealand’s currency.
7) Two Come Along at Once!
The successful ascent of Sir Edmund Hillary to the top of Everest coincided with another iconic cultural moment in the Anglo-Saxon World - the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953! In fact, news of the first ascent of Everest was announced on the eve of the Queen Elizabeth II coronation!
8) Antarctic Roll
Two Antarctic features have been named after Sir Edmund Hillary. These are an under sea feature in the Ross Sea called the Hillary Canyon, and the Hillary Coast, south of Ross Island.
9) A Fitting Tribute
Nepal's Lukla Airport officially changed its name in 2008 to the Tenzing-Hillary Airport, after Sir Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay - the first two men to reach the top of Mount Everest.
10) Gone But Not Forgotten
On the 11th of January 2008, Sir Edmund Hillary died of heart failure at Auckland City Hospital, New Zealand.
Bonus: Inspirational Quotes Posters
Sir Edmund Hillary was certainly bold and adventurous. With our inspirational quotes posters we hope to inspire people to be bold and adventurous too. Check out our Inspirational Quotes Collection and let us know what you think!