Thursday, January 10, 2008

Sir Edmund Hillary Dies at 88

Just about a year ago I wrote about the death of renowned mountain climber and photographer Bradford Washburn.

Tonight comes word of the death of the most famous mountaineer of them all, Sir Edmund Hillary. Sir Edmund, of course, along with Tenzing Norgay, was the first to summit Mount Everest, in 1953.

Sir Edmund devoted much of his life to helping the Sherpas in Nepal, raising money to build schools and hospitals in the Himalayas.

He was also a pioneer in the Antarctic, helping establish Scott Base at the South Pole. He just visited Scott Base last year for its 50th anniversary celebration.

Sir Edmund is survived by his wife, children Peter and Sarah, and grandchildren. His first wife, Louise, and teenage daughter Belinda died in a plane crash in 1975. Louise Hillary's book A YAK FOR CHRISTMAS is one of a number of Everest-related books on my shelves.

In 2003 Peter Hillary and Jamling Tenzing Norgay followed in their fathers' footsteps, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the first Everest summit by climbing Everest together.

Sir Edmund Hillary's stature in his native New Zealand is such that he will be honored with a state funeral.

Sir Edmund of a kind. A pioneering giant of the 20th century.

Friday Update: The obituary from London's Daily Telegraph. The Telegraph usually runs particularly interesting obituaries, and this one was no exception.


Blogger Josh said...


We have created a memorial page to pay tribute to those loved ones who have passed away and to pay tribute and remembrance to those who have touched our lives. A special page has been created for Sir Edmund Hillary at


12:15 AM  

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