Sir Edmund Hillary Dead at 88

Sir Edmund Hillary (1919-2008)

Sir Edmund Hillary - first man to have climbed to the top of the world died yesterday of heart failure. He had been expected to make a recovery from his hospitalization, but he did not pull through. Let’s take a look at the life of this fascinating man.

Hillary was a small boy, thin and uncoordinated, so he took to books as a refuge. In his teens, he discovered that he had deceiving endurance and strength for boys his age, and when he was 20, he climbed to the summit of Mount Oliver in the Alps.

After successfully reaching the top of Mount Everest, he snapped a photo of his Sherpa, Tenzing Norgay, but Norgay was unable to return the favor because he did not know how to operate a camera (with something that important, I would have been teaching him along the way, huh?), so the only photo from the top is of Norgay. They both left a small article and started back down after only 15 minutes. Talk about 15 minutes of fame… turned into a lifetime.

That climb gave him the noteriety and experience to also travel to both poles, with the final notch in his belt being a trip to the North Pole with none other than Neil Armstrong. That feat made him the first person to stand at both poles and Mt. Everest.

After being knighted, he is the first and only person to appear on a New Zealand bank note during their lifetime and is the first foreign national to be granted honorary citizenship of Nepal during the 50th anniversaty of his ascension. During that celebration, both is son, Peter, and Norgay’s son, Jamling, reached the summit of Mt. Everest to commemorate their fathers’ expedition.

He devoted most of his life after the climb to building schools and hospitals in Nepal to repay he debt to them for allowing him to bestowed with such priveleges and fame. He will long be remembered for his kindness and humilty and the world mourns Sir Edmund Hillary today.