|Name:||Sir Edmund Hillary|
|Birth Day:||July 20, 1919|
|Death Date:||Jan 11, 2008 (age 88)|
|Birth Place:||Auckland, New Zealand|
|Height:||in centimeters - N/A|
|Weight:||in kg - N/A|
As per our current Database, Sir Edmund Hillary died on Jan 11, 2008 (age 88).
He became a beekeeper during the summer so as to keep himself available to climb in the winter.
Hillary was born to Percival Augustus (1885-1965) and Gertrude (née Clark) Hillary in Auckland, New Zealand, on 20 July 1919. His father Percy had served at Gallipoli with the 15th (North Auckland) Regiment, and was discharged "medically unfit" from the Army in 1916; he had married Gertrude after his return to New Zealand. His grandfather Edmund Raymond Hillary (b. 1836) from Lancashire, England was a watchmaker, who immigrated to northern Wairoa in the mid-19th century. He married Annie “Ida” Fleming from Ireland having four children. His maternal great-grandparents the Clark’s, were both from Yorkshire.
His family moved to Tuakau, south of Auckland, in 1920, after Percy was allocated eight acres (3.2 ha) of land there as a returned soldier. Percy had been a journalist prewar, and soon became founding editor of the weekly Tuakau District News as well as an apiarist. Ed had a sister June (born 1917) and a brother Rex (born 1920).
A four-day track in the Waitākere Ranges, along Auckland's west coast, is named the Hillary Trail, in honour of Hillary. Hillary's father-in-law, Jim Rose, who had built a bach at Anawhata in 1925, wrote in his 1982 history of Anawhata Beach, "My family look forward to the time when we will be able to walk from Huia to Muriwai on public walking tracks like the old-time Maori could do". Hillary loved the area, and had his own bach near Anawhata. The track was opened on 11 January 2010, the second anniversary of Hillary's death. Rose Track, descending from Anawhata Road to Whites Beach, is named after the Rose family.
Hillary was educated at Tuakau Primary School and then Auckland Grammar School. He finished primary school aged 11 or two years early, and at "Grammar" achieved average marks. His mother wanted him to go to a "good school" and he commuted by train, cycling to Tuakau station before 7 am and returning after 6 pm for 3½ years (a one-hour and 40 minutes journey each way) until the family moved to Remuera, Auckland in 1935, his last of four years at "Grammar".
He became interested in climbing when he was 16 following a 1935 school trip to Mount Ruapehu, after which he showed more interest in tramping than in studying and said he "wanted to see the world". He then attended Auckland University College, and joined the Tramping Club there. But in 1938, "after two notably unsuccessful years studying mathematics and science" he gave up on formal education.
In 1938, he went to hear Herbert Sutcliffe, the proponent of a life philosophy called "Radiant Living", with his family. The family all became foundation members, and his mother became its secretary in 1939. He went to Gisborne as Sutcliff's assistant, and in 1941 sat examinations to become a teacher of Radiant Living, getting a 100% pass mark. His test lecture was on "Inferiority – cause and cure". He said of his five-year association with the movement that "I learned to speak confidently from the platform; to think more freely on important topics; to mix more readily with a wide variety of people". Tenets included healthy eating (the salads that June took to university for lunch) and pacificism. He joined the Radiant Living Tramping Club, and further developed his love of the outdoors in the Waitākere Ranges.
In 1939, he completed his first major climb, reaching the summit of Mount Ollivier, near Aoraki / Mount Cook in the Southern Alps. Climbing brought new friends; Harry Ayres and George Lowe became "the first real friends I'd ever had".
At the outbreak of World War II, Hillary applied to join the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) but quickly withdrew the application, later writing that he was "harassed by [his] religious conscience". In 1943, with the Japanese threat in the Pacific and the arrival of conscription, he joined the RNZAF as a navigator in No. 6 Squadron RNZAF and later No. 5 Squadron RNZAF on Catalina flying boats. In 1945, he was sent to Fiji and to the Solomon Islands, where he was badly burnt in an accident.
In January 1948, Hillary and others ascended the south ridge of Aoraki / Mount Cook, New Zealand's highest peak. He took part in an arduous rescue on La Perouse in 1948, befriending fellow climber Norman Hardie.
In 1949, the long-standing climbing route to the summit of Everest was closed by Chinese-controlled Tibet. For the next several years, Nepal allowed only one or two expeditions per year. A Swiss expedition (in which Tenzing took part) attempted to reach the summit in 1952, but was forced back by bad weather and problems with oxygen sets 800 feet (240 m) below the summit. In 1952,
In 1951 he was part of a British reconnaissance expedition to Everest led by Eric Shipton, before joining the successful British attempt of 1953. In 1952, Hillary and George Lowe were part of the British team led by Shipton, that attempted Cho Oyu. After that attempt failed due to the lack of a route from the Nepal side, Hillary and Lowe crossed the Nup La pass into Tibet and reached the old Camp II, on the northern side, where all the previous expeditions had camped.
The expedition set up base camp in March 1953 and, working slowly, set up its final camp at the South Col at 25,900 feet (7,890 m). On 26 May, Bourdillon and Evans attempted the climb but turned back when Evans' oxygen system failed. The pair had reached the South Summit, coming within 300 vertical feet (91 m) of the summit. Hunt then directed Hillary and Tenzing to attempt the summit.
On 6 June 1953, Hillary was appointed Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire, and he received the Queen Elizabeth II Coronation Medal the same year. On 6 February 1987, he was the fourth appointee to the Order of New Zealand. He was also awarded the Polar Medal in 1958 for his part in the Commonwealth Trans-Antarctic Expedition, the Order of Gorkha Dakshina Bahu, 1st Class of the Kingdom of Nepal in 1953, and the Coronation Medal in 1975. On 22 April 1995 Hillary was appointed Knight Companion of The Most Noble Order of the Garter. On 17 June 2004 Hillary was awarded Commander's Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland. The Government of India conferred on him its second highest civilian award, the Padma Vibhushan, posthumously, in 2008.
Hillary married Louise Mary Rose (born 1930) on 3 September 1953, soon after the ascent of Everest; he admitted he was terrified of proposing to her and relied on her mother to propose on his behalf. They had three children: Peter (born 1954), Sarah (born 1956) and Belinda (1959–1975). On 31 March 1975 while en route to join Hillary in the village of Phaphlu, where he was helping to build a hospital, Louise and Belinda were killed in a plane crash near Kathmandu airport shortly after take-off. In 1989 he married June Mulgrew, the widow of his close friend Peter Mulgrew, who died on Air New Zealand Flight 901 in 1979.
Tenzing in his 1955 autobiography wrote that Hillary took the first step onto the summit and he followed. They reached Everest's 29,028 ft (8,848 m) summit – the highest point on earth – at 11:30 am.
Hillary climbed ten other peaks in the Himalayas on further visits in 1956, 1960–1961, and 1963–1965. He also reached the South Pole as part of the Commonwealth Trans-Antarctic Expedition, for which he led the New Zealand section, on 4 January 1958. His party was the first to reach the Pole overland since Amundsen in 1911 and Scott in 1912, and the first ever to do so using motor vehicles.
In 1960, Hillary organised the 1960–61 Silver Hut expedition, with Griffith Pugh; and Pugh showed that Mount Everest could be climbed without oxygen, with a long period of acclimatisation by living at 20,000 feet (6,100 m) for six months. An assault on Makalu, the world's fifth-highest mountain, was unsuccessful. Hillary was with the expedition for five months, although it lasted for ten.
Following his ascent of Everest he devoted himself to assisting the Sherpa people of Nepal through the Himalayan Trust, which he established in 1960 and led until his death in 2008. His efforts are credited with the construction of many schools and hospitals in this remote region of the Himalayas. He was the Honorary President of the American Himalayan Foundation, a United States non-profit body that helps improve the ecology and living conditions in the Himalayas. He was also the Honorary President of Mountain Wilderness, an international NGO dedicated to the worldwide protection of mountains.
In 1962, he was a guest on the television game show What's My Line?; he stumped the panel, comprising Dorothy Kilgallen, Arlene Francis, Bennett Cerf, and Merv Griffin. In 1977, he led a jetboat expedition, titled "Ocean to Sky", from the mouth of the Ganges River to its source. From 1977 to 1979 he commentated aboard Antarctic sightseeing flights operated by Air New Zealand, and was scheduled to act as the guide for the fatal Flight 901, but had to cancel owing to other commitments. In 1985, he accompanied Neil Armstrong in a small twin-engined ski plane over the Arctic Ocean and landed at the North Pole. Hillary thus became the first man to stand at both poles and on the summit of Everest. This accomplishment inspired generations of explorers to compete over what later was defined as Three Poles Challenge. In January 2007, Hillary travelled to Antarctica as part of a delegation commemorating the 50th anniversary of the founding of Scott Base.
Hillary supported the Labour Party in the 1975 New Zealand general election, as a member of the "Citizens for Rowling" campaign. His involvement in this campaign was seen as precluding his nomination as Governor-General; the position was offered to Keith Holyoake in 1977. In 1985, Hillary was appointed New Zealand High Commissioner to India (concurrently High Commissioner to Bangladesh and Ambassador to Nepal) and spent four and a half years based in New Delhi.
In 1975, Hillary served as a vice president for the Abortion Law Reform Association of New Zealand, a national pro-choice advocacy group. He was also a patron of REPEAL, an organization seeking repeal of the restrictive Contraception, Sterilisation, and Abortion Act 1977.
His son Peter Hillary also became a climber, summiting Everest in 1990. In May 2002 Peter climbed Everest as part of a 50th anniversary celebration; Jamling Tenzing Norgay (son of Tenzing who had died in 1986) was also part of the expedition.
Since 1992, New Zealand's $5 note has featured Hillary's portrait, making him the only living person not a current head of state ever to appear on a New Zealand banknote. In giving his permission, Hillary insisted that Aoraki / Mount Cook rather than Mount Everest be used as the backdrop.
Hillary's favoured New Zealand charity was the Sir Edmund Hillary Outdoor Pursuits Centre, of which he was patron for 35 years. He was particularly keen on how this organisation introduced young New Zealanders to the outdoors in a very similar way to his first experience of a school trip to Mt Ruapehu at the age of 16. A 2.3-metre (7.5 ft) bronze statue of Hillary was erected outside The Hermitage Hotel at Mount Cook Village; it was unveiled by Hillary himself in 2003. Various streets, institutions and organisations around New Zealand and abroad are named after him – for example, the Sir Edmund Hillary Collegiate in Otara, which was established by Hillary in 2001.
On 22 April 2007, while on a trip to Kathmandu, Hillary suffered a fall, and was hospitalised after returning to New Zealand. On 11 January 2008 he died of heart failure at Auckland City Hospital. Flags were lowered to half-mast on New Zealand public buildings and at Scott Base in Antarctica, and Prime Minister Helen Clark called Hillary's death a "profound loss to New Zealand".
On 21 January, Hillary's casket was taken into Holy Trinity Cathedral, Auckland, to lie in state. A state funeral was held on 22 January 2008, after which his body was cremated. On 29 February 2008 most of his ashes were scattered in Auckland's Hauraki Gulf per his desire. The remainder went to a Nepalese monastery near Everest; a plan to scatter them on the summit was cancelled in 2010.
In January 2008, Lukla Airport, in Lukla, Nepal, was renamed to Tenzing–Hillary Airport in recognition of their promotion of its construction. On 2 April 2008, a service of thanksgiving in Hillary's honour at St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle was attended by Queen Elizabeth II, New Zealand dignitaries including Prime Minister Helen Clark, and members of Hillary's and Norgay's families; Gurkha soldiers from Nepal stood guard outside the ceremony. In October 2008, it was announced that future rugby test matches between England and New Zealand would be played for the Hillary Shield. In 2009 the Duke of Edinburgh's Award in New Zealand – formerly the Young New Zealanders' Challenge – was renamed "The Duke of Edinburgh's Hillary Award". On 5 November 2008, a commemorative set of five stamps was issued by New Zealand Post.
The South Ridge of Aoraki / Mount Cook, New Zealand's highest mountain, was renamed Hillary Ridge on 18 August 2011. Hillary and three other climbers were the first party to successfully climb the ridge in 1948. In September 2013 the Government of Nepal proposed naming a 7,681 metres (25,200 ft) mountain in Nepal Hillary Peak in his honour. After the New Horizons mission discovered a mountain range on Pluto on 14 July 2015, it was informally named Hillary Montes (Hillary Mountains) by NASA. The Sir Edmund Hillary Mountain Legacy Medal, awarded by the Nepalese NGO Mountain Legacy "for remarkable service in the conservation of culture and nature in mountainous regions" was inaugurated in 2003, with the approval of Sir Edmund Hillary. A bronze bust of Hillary (circa 1953) by Ophelia Gordon Bell is in the Te Papa museum in Wellington, New Zealand. The Sir Edmund Hillary Archive was added to the UNESCO Memory of the world archive in 2013, it is currently held by Auckland War Memorial Museum.
Sir had three children with Louise Mary Rose before her death. Sir later married June Mulgrew.
Currently, Sir Edmund Hillary is 102 years, 11 months and 8 days old. Sir Edmund Hillary will celebrate 103rd birthday on a Wednesday 20th of July 2022. Below we countdown to Sir Edmund Hillary upcoming birthday.
'Life's like mountaineering – never look down': the wisdom of Sir Edmund Hillary