Christopher Columbus

Christopher Columbus (c. 1451-May 20, 1506) was an Italian explorer, navigator, and colonizer, born in Genoa. Financed by the Spanish crown, he became famous for sailing west across the Atlantic Ocean in search of a new route to Asia. Instead, he discovered islands in the Caribbean Sea and the existence of the Native Americans. While he was not the first European to reach the Western Hemisphere-the Vikings hold that claim-but Columbus's voyages were the first enduring contact between the two hemispheres. This new contact led to an exchange of crops, livestock, cultures, and diseases, and led to the colonization of the Americas. Columbus died and was buried in Spain; his remains were moved several times, but they now rest in Seville.