Antarctica: authentic accounts of life and exploration in the world's highest, driest, windiest, coldest and most remote continent

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Dorset Press, 1990 - Biography & Autobiography - 460 pages
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Contents

White Pilgrimage
3
PREFATORY NOTE
27
GEORGE FORSTER
57
Copyright

7 other sections not shown

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About the author (1990)

Rear Admiral Richard E. Byrd was a U.S. naval officer and aviator-the only person of his time who had flown over both the North Pole and the South Pole and one of the first men to fly the Atlantic. During World War I, he was lieutenant commander of the U.S. air forces in Canada. Skyward (1928) tells of the first airplane flight made over the North Pole with Floyd Bennett in 1926. Little America (1930) is a detailed record of Byrd's flight over the South Pole. Alone (1938) is his remarkable tale of fortitude during his self-imposed isolation at Advance Base in the Antarctic in 1934. In the spring of 1947, Byrd returned from his fifth and largest polar expedition, the largest exploring expedition ever organized-13 ships staffed by 4,000 men, entirely naval in personnel. Byrd received a special medal of the National Geographic Society from President Herbert Hoover in 1930, the Legion of Merit for outstanding services from President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1945, and the Defense Department's Medal of Freedom in 1957. President Dwight Eisenhower placed Byrd in charge of all Antarctic activities of the United States. Admiral Byrd was in over-all command of the Naval task force that, between 1955 and 1959, was to prepare, supply and maintain a series of scientific stations in Antarctica. Byrd died in 1957. He was buried with full military honors in the Arlington National Cemetery.

Charles Neider, 1915 - 2001 Charles Neider was born in 1915 in Odessa, Russia. At the age of 5, he and his family moved to the United States, settling in Richmond, Virginia. Neider later moved to New York and attended City College. In 1959, his most famous book was published entitled, "The Autobiography of Mark Twain," which was later named as one of the 100 Best Nonfiction books written in English during the 20th Century by the Modern Library. He has also edited and annotated around a dozen anthologies of Mark Twain tales, and edited the works of Robert Louis Stevenson, Washington Irving and Leo Tolstoy. Neider considered himself to be a naturalist as well as a writer. Between '69 and '77, he participated in three expeditions to Antarctica funded by the National Science Foundation and the United States Navy. He wrote about these trips in "Edge of the World: Ross Island, Antarctica" and "Beyond Cape Horn: Travels in the Antarctic." He also wrote of his own harrowing adventure when the helicopter he was flying in crashed on Mount Erebus in 1971. He wrote fiction about Billy the Kid, and the last book he wrote was a semi-autobiographical book about his struggle with prostate cancer. Charles Neider died July 11, 2001 at the age of 86.

Mountain climber and explorer Sir Edmund Hillary was born in Auckland, New Zealand on July 20, 1919. He became one of the first two men to successfully climb to the top of Mount Everest, the tallest mountain in the world. He and his Sherpa guide, Tenzing Norkay, reached the top of Everest on May 29, 1953. Hillary wrote of this conquest in a chapter titled "Final Assault," found in The Conquest of Everest by Sir John Hunt. Queen Elizabeth knighted both of them during the coronation festivities of 1953. Before the Everest triumph, Hillary had written several books about his adventures on other famous expeditions, including several climbs of other Himalayan peaks. In 1957, he established New Zealand's Scott Base in Antarctica and led the first vehicles overland to the South Pole. In June 1960, Hillary announced that in the fall he would attempt an ascent of the 27,790-foot Malaka Peak in Nepal, about 20 miles east of Everest. He had two objectives: "...first, to determine the effects of high altitude on climbers not equipped with oxygen equipment and, second, to make further efforts to track down the 'Abominable Snowman'" (New York Times). The results, which were negligible, are told in High in the Thin Cold Air (1962), which Hillary co-authored with Desmond Doig. This expedition did, however, establish a school at Khumjung, which made up for some of the other disappointments. In 1985 Hillary was named ambassador to India. He died on January 11, 2008 at the age of 88.

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