Ferdinand Magellan

Explorer / Navigator

Born: c. 1480
Died: 27 April 1521 (killed in battle)
Birthplace: Villa Real, Portugal
Best known as: The first guy to circumnavigate the Earth

Portuguese name: Fernao de Magalhaes

Magellan was born in Portugal, but it was under the Spanish flag that he sailed in 1519 with the intention of reaching the Spice Islands by sailing west around South America. After much hardship he succeeded in reaching and then sailing across the Pacific Ocean. Soon thereafter he was killed while trying to subdue the natives on what is now the island of Mactan in the Philippines. After still more hardships, one of his original five ships, Victoria, eventually made it back to Spain. Though Magellan didn't complete the entire circumnavigation, as the expedition's leader he is usually credited with being the first man to circle the globe.

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