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List of Famous Explorers

Updated June 14, 2019 15.4k views173 items

List of famous explorers, with photos, bios, and other information when available. Who are the top explorers in the world? This includes the most prominent explorers, living and dead, both in America and abroad. This list of notable explorers is ordered by their level of prominence, and can be sorted for various bits of information, such as where these historic explorers were born and what their nationality is. The people on this list are from different countries, but what they all have in common is that they're all renowned explorers.

Items here include everything from Meriwether Lewis to Christopher Columbus.

From reputable, prominent, and well known explorers to the lesser known explorers of today, these are some of the best professionals in the explorer field. If you want to answer the questions, "Who are the most famous explorers ever?" and "What are the names of famous explorers?" then you're in the right place. {#nodes}
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  • James Cameron
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  • Charles Lindbergh
    Charles Augustus Lindbergh (February 4, 1902 – August 26, 1974) was an American aviator,...  more

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  • Arthur C. Clarke
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  • Christopher Columbus
    Christopher Columbus (; before 31 October 1451 – 20 May 1506) was an Italian explorer,...  more

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  • Ferdinand Magellan

    Ferdinand Magellan

    Ferdinand Magellan ( or ; Portuguese: Fernão de Magalhães, IPA: [fɨɾˈnɐ̃w dɨ mɐɣɐˈʎɐ̃jʃ];...  more
  • Roald Amundsen
    Roald Engelbregt Gravning Amundsen (UK: , US: ; 16 July 1872 – c. 18 June 1928) was a...  more

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  • James Cook
    Captain James Cook (7 November 1728 – 14 February 1779) was a British explorer, navigator,...  more
  • Marco Polo
    Marco Polo was a Venetian merchant traveller whose travels are recorded in Livres des...  more
  • Vasco da Gama
    Vasco da Gama, 1st Count of Vidigueira (European Portuguese: [ˈvaʃku ðɐ ˈɣɐ̃mɐ]; c. 1460s – 24...  more
  • Meriwether Lewis

    Meriwether Lewis

    Meriwether Lewis (August 18, 1774 – October 11, 1809) was an American explorer, soldier,...  more
  • William Clark
    William Clark (August 1, 1770 – September 1, 1838) was an American explorer, soldier, Indian...  more
  • John C. Frémont
    John Charles Frémont or Fremont (January 21, 1813 – July 13, 1890) was an American explorer,...  more
  • Alexander von Humboldt
    Friedrich Wilhelm Heinrich Alexander von Humboldt (, also US: , UK: , German: [ʔalɛkˈsandɐ fɔn...  more
  • John Cabot
    John Cabot (Italian: Giovanni Caboto [dʒoˈvanni kaˈbɔːto]; c. 1450 – c. 1500) was an Italian...  more

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  • Jean-Michel Cousteau
    Jean-Michel Cousteau (born 6 May 1938) is a French oceanographic explorer, environmentalist,...  more
  • Francisco Moreno
    Francisco Pascasio Moreno (May 31, 1852 – November 22, 1919) was a prominent explorer and...  more
  • John Wesley Powell
    John Wesley Powell (March 24, 1834 – September 23, 1902) was a U.S. soldier, geologist,...  more
  • Jacques Cartier
    Jacques Cartier ( KAR-tee-ay, also US: KAR-tee-AY, kar-TYAY, French: [ʒak kaʁtje], Quebec...  more
  • Barry Bishop
    Barry Chapman Bishop (January 13, 1932 – September 24, 1994) was an American mountaineer,...  more
  • Sir Ernest Shackleton
    Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton (; 15 February 1874 – 5 January 1922) was a British polar...  more
  • Richard E. Byrd
    Rear Admiral Richard Evelyn Byrd Jr. (October 25, 1888 – March 11, 1957) was an American naval...  more
  • Ibn Battuta
    Ibn Battuta (; Arabic: محمد ابن بطوطة‎; fully ʾAbū ʿAbd al-Lāh Muḥammad ibn ʿAbd al-Lāh...  more
  • Emil Racoviță
    Emil Racoviță (Romanian pronunciation: [eˈmil ˈrakovit͡sə]; also spelled Racovitza; 15...  more
  • Alfred Russel Wallace
    Alfred Russel Wallace (8 January 1823 – 7 November 1913) was a British naturalist, explorer,...  more
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