Who was Roald Amundsen?
He was a Norwegian explorer who was the first to reach the South Pole, the first to make a ship voyage through the Northwest Passage, and one of the first to cross the Arctic by air. And thus he was one of the greatest figures in the field of polar exploration.
What urged him for his expedition?
Fellow discoverer Robert E Peary's attainment of the North Pole on April 6, 1909 convinced Amundsen that he should try to reach the South Pole. He resolved to reach the pole before the British expedition led by Robert F Scott. After the establishment of three supply depots, on October 29, 1911, Amundsen began the final journey to the pole with four companions and four dog sleds.
When did he achieve his feat?
On December 14 the Norwegian flag was flying at the South Pole. On December 17 Amundsen began his return completing 1,860 miles in 99 days.
Did he really discover the South Pole first?
The man was painted as a cheat and a liar in the wake of Robert Falcon Scott's failed attempt (Scott arrived on January 17, 1912) to reach the same point because the arrogant British refused to accept this as Scott and his whole team died on the way back due to terrible conditions. The British empire overshadowed Amundsen’s success and convinced all that it was Scott’s right to become the first person at the South Pole.
What did he do in later life?
In 1918 Amundsen left Norway in his ship Maud to drift across the north polar sea from Asia to North America, but the polar ice pack made this an impossibility. So he reached Alaska via the Siberian coast in 1920 and completed the Northeast Passage, his second portion of the circumnavigation of the world within the Arctic Circle.
He then achieved new feats of polar exploration involving air travel. In the spring of 1925 he flew in an airplane from Spitsbergen to within 150 miles of the North Pole. He met his end in 1928 in the Arctic during an air relief expedition in search of Nobile and the airship Italia.
On this 104th anniverasay Google dedicated a doodle to him which called out to all the adventurers out there!