Roald Amundsen

Roald Amundsen was born in Norway in 1872. Even when he was young Amundsen knew he wanted to be a polar explorer. But since his parents wanted to be a doctor, he studied medicine until he was 21. In 1897 Amundsen went on his first expedition to the Antarctic as the first mate of the ship Belgica. By mistake, this expedition became the first to ever stay the winter in Antarctica! After that experience, Amundsen decided that he was ready to lead his own expedition. His first left in 1903 with the goal of finding the Northwest Passage and learning about the magnetic north pole. Amundsen learned a lot on this trip, like how to drive dog teams, and what food and clothes were used by the Eskimos. His ship was also the first to make it through the Northwest Passage!

Now Amundsen was ready to pursue his most daring goal; to reach the North Pole. He borrowed the ship Fram from another Arctic explorer Fridtjof Nansen. But then everything changed when Robert Peary became the first to reach the North Pole. Amundsen decided that instead of trying to reach the North Pole, he would try to be the first to reach the South Pole, challenging Robert Scott who was about to leave on an expedition to do the same thing. On December 14th, 1911, Amundsen and his crew reached the South Pole.

Even after his success, Amundsen was still eager to do more. He traveled in the Arctic doing scientific research for some time, then began to pursue a new goal; to be the first to fly over the North Pole. After a few unsuccessful attempts, he and 15 others flew over the North Pole, dropping the Norwegian, American and Italian flags there.

In 1928, Amundsen was par of a mission to rescue Umberto Nobile whose plane had crashed in the Arctic. Though Nobile and his crew were rescued, Amundsen and his plane never returned.