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Ferdinand Magellan

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Ferdinand Magellan
Ferdinand Magellan.jpg
Fernão de Magalhães

Died April 27, 1521 (aged 40–41)
Nationality Portuguese
Known for The first to sail around the world.
Magellan Signature.svg

Ferdinand Magellan (1480 – April 27, 1521) was a Portuguese explorer. He became the first European to sail the Pacific Ocean, and the first to sail around the world. Magellan's voyage proved that the Earth was round.[1][2]

Born in 1480, his birthplace is not known for sure, except that it was in the north of Portugal. He worked in a royal court where he learned many important skills, including map making, navigation and astronomy. In 1505 he joined the navy. When he worked for Portugal, he went to many parts of the world, such as India, the Spice Islands, East Africa, and Morocco. After he lost his job for the King of Portugal, he went to work for the King of Spain.

He was also the first to sail through the Strait of Magellan, so it was named for him. Magellan himself was killed in the Philippines, on April 27, 1521 in Mactan because he had traded with them with iron and fruits and thought, somehow, they were stealing.

Charles V of Spain provided him with five ships for the voyage round the world. Only one ship, the Victoria, completed the voyage.


  1. Nowell, Charles E. (ed) 1962. Magellan's voyage around the world: three contemporary accounts. Evanston: NU Press.
  2. Bergreen, Laurence 2003. Over the edge of the world: Magellan's terrifying circumnavigation of the globe. William Morrow. ISBN 0-06-093638-X