Robert E. Peary

Facts about Robert Peary

Robert E. Peary died at 63 years old
Born: May 6, 1856
Best known as: North Pole expedition leader


Robert E. Peary Biography

Robert Edwin Peary, his assistant Matthew Henson and four Inuit men were the first to reach the North Pole on 6 April 1909. An officer in the United States Navy, it was Commander Peary’s eighth attempt to reach the pole in two decades of exploring arctic regions. When he returned, however, a former colleague from his 1891 Greenland expedition, Dr. Frederick Cook, claimed to have reached the North Pole a year before. In 1911 a congressional inquiry concluded that Peary, who had been promoted to Rear Admiral, deserved the credit. In recent years the weight of opinion has shifted clearly to Peary’s side, with a nod to the accomplishments of Henson as well.

Extra credit

The four Inuits who reached the North Pole were Oatah, Egingwah, Ookeah and Seegloo… Peary’s wife Josephine joined him on several of his expeditions.


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