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Nothing venture, nothing win

Edmund Hillary is famous as a mountaineer and an explorer. He was born in Auckland, New Zealand on July 20, 1919. Before he took up mountain climbing, Edmund worked as a beekeeper. In fact it wasn't until 1951 that he began to climb seriously.

Two years later, in 1953, Hillary became a member of the British Everest expedition. He had already climbed the Alps and the Himalayas, so he was well prepared. The aim of the expedition was to conquer the highest mountain in the world, Mount Everest.

Hillary said later that the biggest motivation to climb Everest was the fact that no one had done it. However, although the expedition team was strong, in the early stages of the climb Hillary didn't think they would succeed. It wasn't until he and Tenzing Norgay got close to the top of the mountain, that they realised it was possible. The first thing that Hillary did when he got to the top was take photographs so that he could prove they had reached the summit. Pictures of their conquest of Everest were published on 2 June, the same day as Queen Elizabeth's coronation in Britain.

Today over 600 climbers have climbed Everest, including Hillary's son Peter. When he reached the summit in 1990, he called his father on a satellite phone.

During his lifetime , Hillary has been involved in climbs, Arctic journeys, and trips up the Ganges River. He has often been back to Nepal, where he has encouraged the building of schools and hospitals, and campaigned against deforestation. He has also written several books, and in 1975 completed his autobiography, Nothing venture, nothing win.

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