Christopher Columbus is one
of the best-known of all explorers. He is famous for his
voyage in 1492, when he "discovered" America while he was
looking for a way to sail to Asia.
Columbus was probably born in
Genoa, Italy, around 1451. His real name was Christoforo
Columbo. His wife, a Portuguese women who he married
around 1480, was Felipa Perestrello e Moniz. They had one
son named Diego.
He made several voyages to the New
World, which he thought was Asia. His first voyage took
place in 1492. He led an expedition of three ships: the
Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria. On October 12,
1492, the expedition landed on a small island in the
Caribbean Sea. Columbus was sure that he was close to
His second voyage was from 1493 to
1496. This time, he took 17 ships and 1200 sailors and
colonists looking for riches in the New World and a quick
route to Asia. On this trip, he explored Cuba and
discovered the islands of Jamaica, Guadeloupe and Puerto
He went again to the New World from
1498 to 1500. His final voyage was in 1502-1504.
Christopher Columbus died in 1506.
He was not the first European to
find North America. The Vikings had come to northern
North America hundreds of years earlier. However,
Columbus is important because his explorations made
Europeans much more aware of the New World and helped to
encourage more exploration of North and South America in