Robert Peary, even while he was still a boy, began preparing himself for the long expeditions * he would make later in life. When he was young, he would make 25-mile hikes every week.
In 1898 he made his first attempt to reach the North Pole. He endured weeks of darkness and temperatures that plunged to minus 63 degrees Fahrenheit * .
He had prepared himself well for polar exploration by studying the Inuit people who were native to the land. From them he learned how to build igloos, drive a dog sled, and make warm clothing out of animal skins.
On the first expedition eight of his toes froze and had to be removed. Later he would have the remaining two toes amputated * because it was easier for him to walk with no toes than with only two toes.
On his second expedition both his legs were broken in a ship accident, but still he pushed on. He directed the construction of a base camp from his bed.
When he was 25 years old he joined the Navy, and after his eighth expedition he was promoted to the rank of Admiral * . Sometimes he had trouble getting time off from his Naval duties to go on the expeditions.
On his third trip to Greenland he discovered three of the world's largest meteorites * . One of them weighed 65 tons; 130,000 pounds. He was determined to bring it back and was finally successful in getting it to the American Museum of Natural History in New York.
Peary Expedition at the Pole
Photograph by Robert Peary
When he returned home, he learned that another man, Frederick Cook, claimed to have reached the pole a year earlier on April 21, 1908. Peary and his men tried to disprove Cook's claim. Some of Cook's documentation * proved to be false. Also they learned he had been accused of fraud in an oil deal and served seven years in prison. He was eventually pardoned, but his reputation was ruined.
There was also controversy concerning Matthew Henson, who also claimed that while he was in Peary's party, he was the first one to reach the Pole location.
Robert Peary died in 1920. He was 63 years old.
Peary had a son by an Inuit woman. This son later visited his father's family and his gravesite in Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, D.C.
This biography by Patsy Stevens, a retired teacher, was written in 2007.
A frequent question:
"Who wrote this biography and when was it written?"
Look on this Reference Citations Chart.
The Peary-MacMillan Arctic Museum
Robert E. Peary
Arlington National Cemetery
Peary Expedition Directory
Peary's Eagle Island
Robert Edwin Peary, Arctic Explorer
from Enchanted Learning, site for kids
"The North Pole"
online book about his discovery by Robert Peary
"Famous Discoverers and Explorers of America"
online book by Charles Johnston, Robert Peary page 411
"Adventures of Uncle Sam's Sailors"
online book by Robert Peary
The Snow Baby
the story of Peary's daughter, Marie
You Wouldn't Want to be a Polar Explorer
based on Shackleton's Antarctic exploration
At biography.com search for Robert Peary.
Scroll the panel for the "Video & Audio Results".
Robert Peary, First to the Pole?
has links to Arctic maps
first expedition to indisputably reach the North Pole
From Word Central's Student Dictionary
by Merriam - Webster
(Pronunciation note: the schwa sound is shown by ə)
a : a journey or trip undertaken for a specific purpose (as war or exploring)
b : a group making such a journey
Etymology: named for Gabriel Fahrenheit 1686-1736 German physicist
: relating or conforming to or having a thermometer scale
on which under standard atmospheric pressure
the boiling point of water is at 212 degrees above the zero of the scale
and the freezing point is at 32 degrees above zero
to cut off; especially : to cut off an arm or leg from the body
Pronunciation: 'ad-mə-rəl, -mrəl
a naval commissioned officer with a rank above that of captain;
especially : an officer with a rank just above that of vice admiral
a meteor that reaches the surface of the earth
the providing of documents as proof
Draw Write Now, Book 4: The Polar Regions, The Arctic, The Antarctic
By Marie Hablitzel / Barker Creek
Explore the world with, Draw Write Now, a collection of drawing and handwriting lessons developed by an elementary school teacher and tested by over 800 children. The contents include: Colorful easy to follow drawing lessons. Text for practicing handwriting. Theme related questions, answers and book lists. A child friendly format. And countless ideas to spark children's imagination and creativity! In Book Four, children explore The Polar Regions, The Artic and The Antartic. One of eight books in the Draw Write Now Series by authors, Marie Hablitzel and Kim Stitzer Barker Creek Publishing.
By Mir Tamim Ansary / Heinemann Raintree
Come along with us as we meet some of America's first peoples. Turn the pages of Arctic Peoples to discover: how a house of snow can be warm and comfortable, what clothes we wear today were invented by Arctic peoples, how Arctic sled dogs can swim without getting wet. Each book in the Native Americas series explores a different area of our country and the people who first lived there. Find out how these people lived long ago, what happened when Europeans arrived, and how Native Americans today are keeping their cultures alive. Each book includes: colorful maps, photos, and illustrations, a section on famous Native Americans, a list of books to show you where you can learn more. 32 pages, softcover.
Arctic and Antarctic
By Barbara Taylor / DK Publishing Inc.
A publishing phenomenon! Say the words "reference book" and most people think of something boring. But DK Eyewitness Books proves that doesn't have to be the case by showing readers in pictures what other books only tell them in words. What makes DK Eyewitness Books so compelling is a "lexigraphic" design style developed by Peter Kindersley. He created a design approach that integrated words to give meaning to the pictures. Rich with content, Eyewitness Books use a lively mix of full-color photographs and illustrations, cutaway and cross-section views, 3-D models, and maps to help the reader visualize the subject. Parents and educators quickly embraced the lexigraphic approach. The rest, as they say, is history.
A LIBRARY OF
ONLINE BOOKS and BOOK PREVIEWS
Polar Exploration Adventures
by Barbara Saffer (selected pages) Order here
Exploring the Arctic
by Rose Blue, Corinne J. Naden (selected pages) Order here
The great white North: the story of polar exploration from the earliest times to the discovery of the pole
by Helen Saunders Wright (public domain, published 1910, full view)
Preview the Amazon books using the links below.
by Kristin Petrie (selected pages)
Give Me My Father's Body: The Life of Minik, the New York Eskimo
by Kenn Harper, Kevin Spacey (selected pages)
Into the ice: the story of Arctic exploration
by Lynn Curlee (selected pages)
The Complete Idiots Guide to the Arctic and Antarctic
by Jack Williams (selected pages)
Finding the North Pole
by Frederick Albert Cook, Robert E. Peary, George W. Melville (selected pages)
by James Kerr, Jim Kerr (selected pages)
by Paul Mason (selected pages)
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