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Leif Erikson

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Faroe Islands postage stamp Discovery of America: Leif Erikson
1968 U.S. postage stamp

Leif Eriksson or Ericsson, Erickson, and Ericksson (c. 970 – c. 1020) was a Norse explorer.[1] He was the first known European to travel to North America.[1]


Erikson was probably born in Iceland and grew up in Greenland. His father was Erik the Red,[1] who had created colonies in Greenland. Eriksson is said to have visited North America long before anyone else in Europe did.[1] According to Icelandic sagas (stories) he started a Viking settlement in Vinland. Many scholars think this was Newfoundland in Canada.