Famous Explorers from the United States

List of notable or famous explorers from the United States, with bios and photos, including the top explorers born in the United States and even some popular explorers who immigrated to the United States. If you're trying to find out the names of famous American explorers then this list is the perfect resource for you. These explorers are among the most prominent in their field, and information about each well-known explorer from the United States is included when available.

These people, like Meriwether Lewis and William Clark include images when available.

This historic explorers from the United States list can help answer the questions "Who are some American explorers of note?" and "Who are the most famous explorers from the United States?" These prominent explorers of the United States may or may not be currently alive, but what they all have in common is that they're all respected American explorers.

Use this list of renowned American explorers to discover some new explorers that you aren't familiar with. Don't forget to share this list by clicking one of the social media icons at the top or bottom of the page. {#nodes}

  • Barry Bishop
    Photo: flickr / CC0
    Barry Chapman Bishop (January 13, 1932 – September 24, 1994) was an American mountaineer, scientist, photographer and scholar. With teammates Jim Whittaker, Lute Jerstad, Willi Unsoeld and Tom Hornbein, he was a member of the first American team to summit Mount Everest on May 22, 1963. He worked for the National Geographic Society for most of his life, beginning as a picture editor in 1959 and serving as a photographer, writer, and scientist with the society until his retirement in 1994. He was killed in an automobile accident near Pocatello, Idaho later that year.
    • Age: Dec. at 62 (1932-1994)
    • Birthplace: Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Henry Morton Stanley
    Photo: Metaweb (FB) / Public domain
    Sir Henry Morton Stanley (born John Rowlands; 28 January 1841 – 10 May 1904) was a Welsh journalist and explorer who was famous for his exploration of central Africa and his search for missionary and explorer David Livingstone. Upon finding Livingstone, Stanley reportedly asked, "Dr. Livingstone, I presume?" Stanley is also known for his search for the source of the Nile, his pioneering work that enabled the plundering of the Congo Basin region by King Leopold II of Belgium, and his command of the Emin Pasha Relief Expedition. He was knighted in 1899.
    • Age: Dec. at 63 (1841-1904)
    • Birthplace: Denbigh, United Kingdom
  • John C. Frémont
    Photo: Metaweb (FB) / Public domain
    John Charles Frémont or Fremont (January 21, 1813 – July 13, 1890) was an American explorer, politician, and soldier who, in 1856, became the first candidate of the Republican Party for the office of President of the United States. During the 1840s, when he led five expeditions into the American West, that era's penny press and admiring historians accorded Frémont the sobriquet The Pathfinder.During the Mexican–American War, Frémont, a major in the U.S. Army, took control of California from the California Republic in 1846. Frémont was convicted in court-martial for mutiny and insubordination over a conflict of who was the rightful military governor of California. After his sentence was ...more
    • Age: Dec. at 77 (1813-1890)
    • Birthplace: Savannah, Georgia, USA
  • John Wesley Powell
    Photo: Metaweb (FB) / Public domain
    John Wesley Powell (March 24, 1834 – September 23, 1902) was a U.S. soldier, geologist, explorer of the American West, professor at Illinois Wesleyan University, and director of major scientific and cultural institutions. He is famous for the 1869 Powell Geographic Expedition, a three-month river trip down the Green and Colorado rivers, including the first official U.S. government-sponsored passage through the Grand Canyon. Powell served as second director of the U.S. Geological Survey (1881–1894) and proposed, for development of the arid West, policies that were prescient for his accurate evaluation of conditions. He became the first director of the Bureau of Ethnology at the Smithsonian ...more
    • Age: Dec. at 68 (1834-1902)
    • Birthplace: Mount Morris, New York