Roald Amundsen

While his conquest of the South Pole is remembered as the crowning achievement of Amundsen's life, it was only one amongst a number of extraordinary accomplishments. In 1897 he served in the Belgica, the first ship to overwinter in the Antarctic. From 1902 to 1906 he became the first person to navigate the fabled North-West Passage and locate the North Magnetic Pole. In 1910 he set sail in the Fram for the North Pole but turned his attention to the South Pole on hearing Peary's fraudulent claim. In December 1911 he reached the South Pole one month ahead of Scott. He then joined the select few to conquer the North-East Passage and in 1926 almost certainly became the first man genuinely to reach the North Pole by airship. In 1928 he died when the airship in which he was searching for the explorer Umberto Nobile crashed.