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Profile of the Day: Amerigo Vespucci

Florentine navigator and explorer Amerigo Vespucci was born on this day in 1451 (some scholars say 1454).

Image: Amerigo Vespucci

Vespucci was born to Nastagio Vespucci, a notary, and Lisabetta di Giovanni Mini in what is today Florence, Italy. His family was friends with the wealthy and powerful Medici family. As a child, Vespucci received his education from his uncle, Giorgio Antonio Vespucci. He later moved to Seville, Spain where he worked in the banking business before pursuing his interest in exploration.

Between 1497-1504, Vespucci participated in at least two voyages to the New World. Early publications of his voyages (some now are believed to be forgeries) were extremely popular and widely read across Europe. During his journey to what his now known as Brazil, Vespucci realized that these new lands were actually part of an entirely separate continent. Prior to Vespucci’s discovery, explorers, including Christopher Columbus, had assumed that the New World was a part of Asia. In 1507, Martin Waldssmüler, a German cartographer, proposed naming the land “America” in recognition of Vespucci’s accomplishments.

Three years after Vespucci became a Spanish citizen, he was appointed as the master navigator of Spain. He held the position until his death on February 22, 1512.

Explore Amerigo Vespucci’s family tree on Geni and share how you’re connected to the explorer.

View Amerigo Vespucci’s Geni Profile

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The post Profile of the Day: Amerigo Vespucci first appeared on The Geni Blog.


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