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Famous Male Explorers

Updated June 14, 2019 33.3k views107 items

List of famous male explorers, listed by their level of prominence with photos when available. This greatest male explorers list contains the most prominent and top males known for being explorers. There are thousand of males working as explorers in the world, but this list highlights only the most notable ones. Historic explorers have worked hard to become the best that they can be, so if you're a male aspiring to be a explorer then the people below should give you inspiration.

This list contains people like William Edward Parry and Meriwether Lewis.

While this isn't a list of all male explorers, it does answer the questions "Who are the most famous male explorers?" and "Who are the best male explorers?"
  • Christopher Columbus
    Photo: Metaweb (FB) / Public domain
    Christopher Columbus (; before 31 October 1451 – 20 May 1506) was an Italian explorer, navigator, and colonist who completed four voyages across the Atlantic Ocean under the auspices of the Catholic Monarchs of Castile and Aragon. He led the first European expeditions to the Caribbean, Central America, and South America, initiating the permanent European colonization of the Americas. Columbus discovered a viable sailing route to the Americas, a continent that was then unknown to the Old World. While what he thought he had discovered was a route to the Far East, he is credited with the opening of the Americas for conquest and settlement by Europeans. Columbus's early life is somewhat...  more
    • Age: Dec. at 55 (1451-1506)
    • Birthplace: Genoa, Italy

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  • Ferdinand Magellan
    Photo: Metaweb (FB) / Public domain

    Ferdinand Magellan

    Ferdinand Magellan ( or ; Portuguese: Fernão de Magalhães, IPA: [fɨɾˈnɐ̃w dɨ mɐɣɐˈʎɐ̃jʃ]; Spanish: Fernando de Magallanes, IPA: [feɾˈnando ðe maɣaˈʎanes]; c. 1480 – 27 April 1521) was a Portuguese explorer who organised the Spanish expedition to the East Indies from 1519 to 1522, resulting in the first circumnavigation of the Earth, completed by Juan Sebastián Elcano. Born into a family of minor Portuguese nobility in around 1480, Magellan became a skilled sailor and naval officer and was in service of the Portuguese crown in Asia. After King Manuel I of Portugal refused to support his plan to reach India by a new route, by sailing around the southern end of America, he was eventually...  more
    • Age: Dec. at 41 (1480-1521)
    • Birthplace: Sabrosa Municipality, Portugal
  • James Cook
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    Captain James Cook (7 November 1728 – 14 February 1779) was a British explorer, navigator, cartographer, and captain in the Royal Navy. He made detailed maps of Newfoundland prior to making three voyages to the Pacific Ocean, during which he achieved the first recorded European contact with the eastern coastline of Australia and the Hawaiian Islands, and the first recorded circumnavigation of New Zealand. Cook joined the British merchant navy as a teenager and joined the Royal Navy in 1755. He saw action in the Seven Years' War and subsequently surveyed and mapped much of the entrance to the Saint Lawrence River during the siege of Quebec, which brought him to the attention of the...  more
    • Age: Dec. at 51 (1728-1779)
    • Birthplace: Marton, United Kingdom
  • Marco Polo
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    Marco Polo was a Venetian merchant traveller whose travels are recorded in Livres des merveilles du monde, a book that introduced Europeans to Central Asia and China. He learned the mercantile trade from his father and uncle, Niccolò and Maffeo, who travelled through Asia, and met Kublai Khan. In 1269, they returned to Venice to meet Marco for the first time. The three of them embarked on an epic journey to Asia, returning after 24 years to find Venice at war with Genoa; Marco was imprisoned and dictated his stories to a cellmate. He was released in 1299, became a wealthy merchant, married, and had three children. He died in 1324 and was buried in the church of San Lorenzo in Venice. Marco...  more
    • Age: Dec. at 70 (1254-1324)
    • Birthplace: Republic of Venice

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