George Mallory

Mountain Climber / Missing Person

Born: 1886
Died: 8 June 1924 (mountain accident)
Birthplace: England
Best known as:

The man who climbed Mount Everest "because it's there."

Also known as: George Herbert Leigh-Mallory

An expert mountaineer, George Mallory led three British expeditions to Mount Everest in the 1920s. On the third, in 1924, Mallory and climbing partner Andrew Irvine made an attempt at the summit but disappeared in heavy weather, never to return. It seemed certain they had perished on the mountain, but whether they reached the summit before they died was unknown. (Sir Edmund Hillary became the first man to officially reach the summit in 1953.) For decades, Mallory remained a famous and dramatic missing person. Then in 1999, an expedition found Mallory's frozen body 27,000 feet up Everest's north face. The body was remarkably well preserved, but offered no evidence that Mallory had made it to the summit before his death.

Extra credit:

Asked once why he wanted to climb Mount Everest, George Mallory replied "Because it's there." The quote was reported in a 1923 story in The New York Times and became perhaps the most famous mountaineering quote of all time... Mallory's grandson, George Mallory II, reached the Everest summit in 1995.

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