Journalist and Explorer (1254-1324)
Marco Polo was born in the year 1254 to a wealthy Venetian merchant family. Much of his childhood was spent parent less, he was raised by an extended family. Polo's mother died when he was young, and his father and uncle (successful jewel merchant) were in Asia for much of Polo's life.
But how do we know of Marco's travels?
Just a few years after his return to Venice, Marco commanded a ship in a war against the city of Genoa. He was captured and took to a Genoese prison, where he met a prisoner/writer named Rustichello. As the two men became friends, Marco told Rustichello about his time in Asia. His stories were written on paper and was later published as a book called, "The Travels of Marco Polo".