Christopher Columbus

The World's Most Famous Explorer

His Life

Christopher Columbus was born in 1451 in Genoa, Italy. His love of sailing began as a teenager, and some of his first voyages were into the Atlantic Ocean and to Africa. He had one wife, who died shortly after giving birth, and a lover that gave birth out of wedlock. Columbus couldn't convince the Portugal king, the rulers of Venice, and the rulers of Genoa, so he went to the King and Queen of Spain. They granted him a three ship voyage westward, and about a month later, he landed on an island in the Bahamas. He made three more trips to the Americas, before dying on May 20, 1506.

Facts and Feats

  • Discovered the Americas - The Bahamas, Cuba, Hispaniola, and the Orinoco River in Venezuela
  • Used his wits to trick the Natives back into trading with the Spaniards - He consulted an almanac and told the Natives that he was "taking away the moon" as punishment, when there was a lunar eclipse on the foretold day
  • To the natives, he was feared and hated, and many of his own men didn't respect him because he had not located any of the gold he had told them about
  • Purpose - He wanted to locate a westward trading route to India
  • Outcome - He discovered new land for the Spanish, but did't acquire much gold

The Natives vs. Columbus