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Profile of the Day: Roald Amundsen

Today we celebrate Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen on what would have been his 147th birthday.

Profile of the Day: Roald Amundsen

Image: Roald Amundsen / National Library of Norway, Flickr

He was born on July 16, 1872 in Borge, Norway to Jens Amundsen, a successful sea captain, and Hanna Sahlquist. Although he came from a family of ship builders and captains, his mother hoped he would pursue a career in medicine instead. However, after her death in 1893, Amundsen chose to quit school and pursue his lifelong passion for exploration.

Considered a key figure of the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration, Amundsen was the first to traverse the Northwest Passage and the first to reach the South Pole in 1911. He later attempted to become the first to fly over the North Pole in 1926.

Sadly, on June 18, 1928, Amundsen and his team disappeared while flying a rescue mission in the Arctic. It is believed their plane crashed in the fog in the Arctic Ocean. Their bodies were never recovered.

Roald Amundsen is connected to over 130 million people in Geni’s World Family Tree. Share how you’re related to the Norwegian explorer!

View Roald Amundsen’s Geni Profile


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