Edmund Hillary - First Person to Climb Mt. Everest, Timeline and Personal Life

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Edmund Hillary's Personal Details

Edmund Hillary was a New Zealand mountaineer who along with Tenzing Norgay became the first climbers to reach the summit of Mount Everest.

InformationDetail
BirthdayJuly 20, 1919
Died onJanuary 11, 2008
NationalityNew Zealander
FamousFirst Person to Climb Mt. Everest, Philanthropists, Miscellaneous, Mountaineers
SpousesJune Mulgrew, Louise Mary Rose
Known asSir Edmund Hillary, Sir Edmund Percival Hillary
Childrens Belinda Hillary, Peter Hillary, Sarah Hillary
Universities
  • University of Auckland
  • Auckland Grammar School
Founder / Co-Founder
  • Himalayan Trust
Birth PlaceAuckland
GenderMale
FatherPercival Augustus Hillary
MotherGertrude Hillary
Sun SignCancer
Born inAuckland
Famous asFirst person to climb Mt. Everest
Died at Age88

// Famous First Person to Climb Mt. Everest

Edmund Hillary's photo

Who is Edmund Hillary?

Edmund Hillary was a New Zealand mountaineer who along with Tenzing Norgay created history when they became the first climbers to reach the summit of Mount Everest on 29 May 1953 as a part of a British expedition to Everest led by John Hunt. Later on he participated in expeditions to the South Pole and became one of the first to scale Mt. Herschel in the Antarctic expedition of 1967. Hillary’s interest in mountain climbing dated back to his high school days when he went to Mount Ruapehu in New Zealand's Tangariro National Park on a school trip. He became fascinated with the adventures mountaineering promised and made his first major climb aged 20 when he scaled Mount Ollivier, in the Southern Alps. Throughout his college days he remained active in the outdoor clubs and harbored the ambition of climbing the world’s highest peak, the Mount Everest one day. He became a prominent mountaineer in his own country when he successfully climbed New Zealand's highest peak. Following this he joined a New Zealand party to the central Himalayas and this strengthened his resolve to climb the world’s highest peak. An acclaimed mountaineer by now, he was selected for a British expedition to the Mount Everest in 1953 and created history by becoming one of the first human beings to reach the summit of the hitherto insurmountable peak.

// Famous Philanthropists

Childhood & Early Life

Edmund Hillary was born on 20 July 1919 to Percival Augustus Hillary and Gertrude Hillary in Auckland, New Zealand. His father was a beekeeper.

He received his primary education from Tuakau Primary School and Auckland Grammar School. As a young boy he was very shy and loved to read books.

He developed an interest in mountaineering as a teenager when he went on a school trip to Mount Ruapehu. On this trip he realized that he was physically stronger than many of his tramping companions and also learned that he had great endurance.

He studied mathematics and science at the Auckland University College while actively pursuing his interest in mountaineering. He completed his first major climb in 1939 by scaling the summit of Mount Ollivier in the Southern Alps.

Later Life

After completing his education he became a beekeeper like his father. The World War II broke out in 1939. Initially Hillary chose not to serve in the war because of his pacifist beliefs, but eventually he joined the Royal New Zealand Air Force and served for a while.

He resumed mountain climbing once the war was over. He joined Harry Ayres and Mick Sullivan on their expedition to Mount Cook, New Zealand’s highest peak, and reached the peak on 30 January 1948. This achievement earned him considerable national fame.

He joined a New Zealand party to the central Himalayas in 1951. By now he had set his eyes on the world’s highest peak, Mount Everest and participated in a British reconnaissance expedition of the southern flank of Everest led by Eric Shipton. Even though the expedition was not successful in scaling Mount Everest, it gave Hillary valuable experience in traversing the inhospitable terrains.

In 1952, he was invited by the Joint Himalayan Committee for the approved British 1953 attempt which he excitedly accepted. John Hunt was named the leader for this expedition. Hillary was teamed up with Nepalese Sherpa mountaineer Tenzing Norgay for the assault.

The Hunt expedition consisted of over 400 people including 362 porters and 20 Sherpa guides, and 10,000 lbs of baggage. They set up base camp in March 1953 and made their way up over the next few months before finally setting up their final camp at the South Col.

Two members of the expedition, Bourdillon and Evans, attempted the final climb on 26 May but turned back when Evans' oxygen system failed. Then Hunt asked Hillary and Tenzing to go for the summit.

The duo set off on 28 May with the support trio of Lowe, Alfred Gregory and Ang Nyima. The following day Hillary and Tenzing created history by becoming the first human beings to scale the summit of the 29,029-foot peak.

Edmund Hillary and Tenzing both received heroes’ welcome when they returned from the expedition and earned considerable international acclaim. With his fondest wish fulfilled, he continued exploring the Himalayan region and climbed several other peaks in the ensuing years.

In January 1958, he reached the South Pole as part of the Commonwealth Trans-Antarctic Expedition, for which he led the New Zealand section. The expedition was the first one to reach the pole using motor vehicles.

He went on an expedition to Antarctica in 1967 where he scaled Mount Herschel, becoming one of the first people to do so.

In 1977, he led the first jet boat expedition, ‘Ocean to Sky’, up the Ganges River, starting from its mouth to its source in the Himalayas. He also served as the commentator abroad several Antarctic sightseeing flights operated by Air New Zealand between 1977 and 1979.

He served as New Zealand’s high commissioner to India, Nepal, and Bangladesh from 1985 to 1988.

Major Works

Edmund Hillary, along with Tenzing Norgay, created history on 29 May 1953 when they successfully reached the summit of Mount Everest as part of the ninth British expedition to Everest. Several other mountaineers had attempted the feat in the previous years without any success, and their feat of scaling the hitherto insurmountable peak made them international heroes.

Awards & Achievements

Edmund Hillary was appointed Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire in June 1953.

In June 2004, Hillary was awarded Commander's Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland.

In 2008, the Government of India conferred on him its second highest civilian award, the Padma Vibhushan, posthumously.

Philanthropic Works

Following his successful ascent of Everest, Hillary became deeply committed to helping the Sherpa people of Nepal. He founded the Himalayan Trust in 1960 through which he built many schools and hospitals in the Himalayan region.

He served as the Honorary President of the American Himalayan Foundation, a United States non-profit body that works for the improvement of the living conditions in the Himalayas.

Personal Life & Legacy

Edmund Hillary married Louise Mary Rose in 1953 soon after the ascent of Everest. The couple had three children. His wife and youngest daughter were unfortunately killed in a plane crash in 1975.

Years later, he married June Mulgrew, the widow of his close friend Peter Mulgrew.

Hillary died of heart failure on 11 January 2008, aged 88. A state funeral was held for him on 22 January.

In January 2008, Lukla Airport, in Lukla, Nepal, was renamed to Tenzing-Hillary Airport in honor of Sir Edmund and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay.

Hillary Montes, the second-highest mountain range on Pluto, is named in honor of Edmund Hillary.

// Famous Miscellaneous

Edmund Hillary awards

YearNameAward

Other

2008 - Padma Vibhushan
1958 - Patron's Gold Medal

Edmund Hillary biography timelines

  • // 20th Jul 1919
    Edmund Hillary was born on 20 July 1919 to Percival Augustus Hillary and Gertrude Hillary in Auckland, New Zealand. His father was a beekeeper.
  • // 1939
    He studied mathematics and science at the Auckland University College while actively pursuing his interest in mountaineering. He completed his first major climb in 1939 by scaling the summit of Mount Ollivier in the Southern Alps.
  • // 1939
    After completing his education he became a beekeeper like his father. The World War II broke out in 1939. Initially Hillary chose not to serve in the war because of his pacifist beliefs, but eventually he joined the Royal New Zealand Air Force and served for a while.
  • // 30th Jan 1948
    He resumed mountain climbing once the war was over. He joined Harry Ayres and Mick Sullivan on their expedition to Mount Cook, New Zealand’s highest peak, and reached the peak on 30 January 1948. This achievement earned him considerable national fame.
  • // 1951
    He joined a New Zealand party to the central Himalayas in 1951. By now he had set his eyes on the world’s highest peak, Mount Everest and participated in a British reconnaissance expedition of the southern flank of Everest led by Eric Shipton. Even though the expedition was not successful in scaling Mount Everest, it gave Hillary valuable experience in traversing the inhospitable terrains.
  • // 1952 To 1953
    In 1952, he was invited by the Joint Himalayan Committee for the approved British 1953 attempt which he excitedly accepted. John Hunt was named the leader for this expedition. Hillary was teamed up with Nepalese Sherpa mountaineer Tenzing Norgay for the assault.
  • // 1953 To 1975
    Edmund Hillary married Louise Mary Rose in 1953 soon after the ascent of Everest. The couple had three children. His wife and youngest daughter were unfortunately killed in a plane crash in 1975.
  • // Mar 1953
    The Hunt expedition consisted of over 400 people including 362 porters and 20 Sherpa guides, and 10,000 lbs of baggage. They set up base camp in March 1953 and made their way up over the next few months before finally setting up their final camp at the South Col.
  • // 29th May 1953
    Edmund Hillary, along with Tenzing Norgay, created history on 29 May 1953 when they successfully reached the summit of Mount Everest as part of the ninth British expedition to Everest. Several other mountaineers had attempted the feat in the previous years without any success, and their feat of scaling the hitherto insurmountable peak made them international heroes.
  • // Jun 1953
    Edmund Hillary was appointed Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire in June 1953.
  • // Jan 1958
    In January 1958, he reached the South Pole as part of the Commonwealth Trans-Antarctic Expedition, for which he led the New Zealand section. The expedition was the first one to reach the pole using motor vehicles.
  • // 1960
    Following his successful ascent of Everest, Hillary became deeply committed to helping the Sherpa people of Nepal. He founded the Himalayan Trust in 1960 through which he built many schools and hospitals in the Himalayan region.
  • // 1967
    He went on an expedition to Antarctica in 1967 where he scaled Mount Herschel, becoming one of the first people to do so.
  • // 1985 To 1988
    He served as New Zealand’s high commissioner to India, Nepal, and Bangladesh from 1985 to 1988.
  • // Jun 2004
    In June 2004, Hillary was awarded Commander's Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland.
  • // 2008
    In 2008, the Government of India conferred on him its second highest civilian award, the Padma Vibhushan, posthumously.
  • // Jan 2008
    In January 2008, Lukla Airport, in Lukla, Nepal, was renamed to Tenzing-Hillary Airport in honor of Sir Edmund and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay.
  • // 11th Jan 2008
    Hillary died of heart failure on 11 January 2008, aged 88. A state funeral was held for him on 22 January.

// Famous Mountaineers

Edmund Hillary's FAQ

  • What is Edmund Hillary birthday?

    Edmund Hillary was born at 1919-07-20

  • When was Edmund Hillary died?

    Edmund Hillary was died at 2008-01-11

  • Where was Edmund Hillary died?

    Edmund Hillary was died in Auckland

  • Which age was Edmund Hillary died?

    Edmund Hillary was died at age 88

  • Where is Edmund Hillary's birth place?

    Edmund Hillary was born in Auckland

  • What is Edmund Hillary nationalities?

    Edmund Hillary's nationalities is New Zealander

  • Who is Edmund Hillary spouses?

    Edmund Hillary's spouses is June Mulgrew, Louise Mary Rose

  • Who is Edmund Hillary childrens?

    Edmund Hillary's childrens is Belinda Hillary, Peter Hillary, Sarah Hillary

  • What was Edmund Hillary universities?

    Edmund Hillary studied at University of Auckland, Auckland Grammar School

  • Which company or organization was founded by Edmund Hillary?

    Edmund Hillary was the founder/co-founder of Himalayan Trust

  • Who is Edmund Hillary's father?

    Edmund Hillary's father is Percival Augustus Hillary

  • Who is Edmund Hillary's mother?

    Edmund Hillary's mother is Gertrude Hillary

  • What is Edmund Hillary's sun sign?

    Edmund Hillary is Cancer

  • How famous is Edmund Hillary?

    Edmund Hillary is famouse as First person to climb Mt. Everest