Robert Edwin Peary Sr. was an American explorer and United States Navy officer who made several expeditions to the Arctic in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. He is best known for claiming to have reached the geographic North Pole with his expedition on April 6, 1909. Peary was born in Cresson, Pennsylvania, but following his father's death at a young age, was raised in Portland, Maine. He went to a prominent boarding school called Loomis Chaffe. He attended Bowdoin College, then joined the National Geodetic Survey as a draftsman. Peary enlisted in the navy in 1881, as a civil engineer. In 1885, he was made chief of surveying for the Nicaragua Canal. Peary visited the Arctic for the first time in 1886, making an unsuccessful attempt to cross Greenland by dogsled. He returned in 1891 much better prepared, and by reaching Independence Fjord proved conclusively that Greenland was an island. He was one of the first Arctic explorers to study Inuit survival techniques.
|Born||Robert Edwin Peary, May 06, 1856, Cresson, Pennsylvania, U.S.|
|Died||February 20, 1920, Washington, D.C, U.S.|
|Alma mater||Bowdoin College|
|Known for||Claim to have reached the geographic North Pole on his travels with Matthew Henson.|
|Spouse(s)||Josephine Diebitsch Peary|
Along with Matthew Henson, he was part of the first team to reach the North Pole.
While at Bowdoin College, he was a member of the Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity.
Skeptics questioned his claim of being the first to reach the North Pole.
In 1893, he married an Inuit woman and had a daughter, Marie Ahnighito Peary.
He, like Christopher Columbus, was a well-known explorer.
United States Coast and Geodetic Survey personnel. American polar explorers. Recipients of the Cullum Geographical Medal. United States Navy rear admirals (lower half). Discovery and invention controversies. American explorers. Explorers of the Arctic. Bowdoin College alumni. Grand Officiers of the Légion d'honneur