The New Zealand born mountaineer became the first climber (alongside Tenzing Norgay) to reach the summit of Mount Everest on May 29 1953 he was aged 33 at the time. He has never lived this legend down, becoming a national hero, even appearing on the New Zealand $5 note.
In 1985 he accompanied fellow pioneer Neil Armstrong in a small ski plane over the Arctic Ocean, landing at the North Pole, thus becoming the first man to stand at both poles and on the summit of Everest.
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