Amerigo Vespucci

Amerigo Vespucci (9 March 1451[1]- 22 February 1512) was an Italian merchant, explorer and cartographer. He was the first person to explain that the places discovered by Christopher Columbus in 1492 were not part of east Asia, but an unknown continent which he called "The New World". America got its name when other cartographers used a feminized and latinized version of his first name, Americus.[2]

Amerigo Vespucci
Amerigo Vespucci01.jpg
Statue at the Uffizi, Florence
Born(1451-03-09)March 9, 1451
DiedFebruary 22, 1512(1512-02-22) (aged 60)
Other namesAmérico Vespucio [es]
Americus Vespucius [la]
OccupationMerchant, explorer, cartographer
Known forDemonstrating that the New World was not Asia but a previously-unknown fourth continent.[a]

Not much is known of Vespucci's life. Two books were published saying he wrote them. Some letters exist, also saying he wrote them. He visited the New World at least twice, and died of malaria.

Amerigo Vespucci Media


  1. The letters of Amerigo Vespucci and other documents illustrative of his career: "We learn from Bandini that Amerigo was the third son of a notary at Florence, named Ser Nastagio (Anastasio) Vespucci, by Lisabetta Mini, and that he was born on March 9th, 1451.".
  2. Arciniegas, Germán. Amerigo and the New World: the life & times of Amerigo Vespucci. Translated by Harriet de Onís. New York: Octagon Books, 1978.

Other websites

  Media related to Amerigo Vespucci at Wikimedia Commons