Sir Edmund Hillary 1919-2008

Edmund HillaryNew Zealand has lost one its most beloved sons with the death today of Sir Edmund Hillary. He died in Auckland today aged 88.

Sir Edmund made international headlines in 1953 when he became the first man to scale Mount Everest, the world’s highest peak, along with Sherpa Tenzing Norgay. He famously said when breaking the news of the feat: “We knocked the bastard off”.

Christchurch City Libraries has many resources on Sir Edmund Hillary, one of New Zealand’s greatest adventurers and explorers and one of our most highly decorated citizens. See:

Sir Edmund devoted much of his life to helping the Sherpas of Nepal’s Khumbu region. He was made an honorary Nepalese citizen in 2003.

Edmund HillaryHillary’s adventuring continued with expeditions by Massey Ferguson tractor to the South Pole, searching for the yeti in the Himalayas and jetboating up the Ganges to its source. His work in Nepal building schools and medical clinics for the Sherpas also involved strenuous expeditions.

In later years he became a highly successful High Commissioner to India and continued to advocate for the Sherpa people. He also had forthright comments about the state of climbing on Everest and the environmental damage caused by climbing expeditions.

See the Library backgrounder for more books and information on Edmund Hillary.