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Sir Ed Hillary dies - one of the 20th C. icons (Read 675 times)

    One of the icons of the 20th Century passed away today - Sir Ed, the first human to stand on the top of Mt Everest - the highest mountain in the world. His motto was "Be determined, Aim high" I'm in awe of anyone who conquers their goals - and when you think of the equipment Sir Ed and his sherpa Tenzing had back in the 50's... he was a pretty cool dude. RIP great man... Cry http://www.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/asiapcf/01/10/edmund.hillary/index.html (CNN) -- Sir Edmund Hillary, who gained worldwide fame after he and guide Tenzing Norgay became the first people to reach the summit of Mount Everest, has died after suffering a heart attack. Sir Edmund Hillary took his fame in stride and considered himself just an ordinary beekeeper. 1 of 2 more photos » New Zealander Hillary, who was 88, died at Auckland City Hospital on Friday morning at 0900 local time, Hillary family spokesman Mark Sainsbury said. "He had been in good form and been looking forward to coming home, and had remained in good spirits to the end," Sainsbury said in a statement issued by the Hillary family. "The family are honored to accept the government's offer of a state funeral, recognizing the impact he had on all New Zealanders. They are also comforted by the messages of support from around the country and around the world. "His great friends the Sherpa people have called [wife] June and are organizing their own memorial service in Nepal." On May 29, 1953, Hillary and Tenzing became the first men known to have climbed the 29,035 feet to the top of Everest and safely return. A beekeeper who served during World War II in the Royal New Zealand Air Force, Hillary began climbing while in high school and traveled to the central Himalayas to join a British party exploring the southern face of Everest in 1951. He returned in 1953, when he and Tenzing made their ascent -- spending 15-30 minutes at the summit. Hillary left a crucifix at the top of the mountain and Tenzing, in keeping with his Buddhist beliefs, left an offering of food. Hillary took a picture of Tenzing at the peak but, because the Sherpa guide did not know how to use a camera, there are no pictures of Hillary there. He was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II upon his return to England, but continued exploring -- reaching the South Pole by tractor in 1958, joining the first group to climb Antarctica's Mt. Herschel in 1967 and boating east Himalayan rivers and the Ganges. Prime Minister Helen Clark paid tribute to Hillary, describing him as the best-known New Zealander ever to have lived. Listen to a friend of Edmund Hillary recollect his fellow Everest veteran » "Sir Ed described himself as an average New Zealander with modest abilities," Clark said. "In reality, he was a colossus. He was an heroic figure who not only 'knocked off' Everest but lived a life of determination, humility and generosity." Flags throughout New Zealand flew at half-mast on Friday, while callers flooded talkback stations with tributes to Hillary. Many shared anecdotes of personal meetings with the late adventurer, describing him as an iconic New Zealander whose achievements were important to both the country and the world. Antarctica New Zealand chief executive Lou Sanson said his enduring image of Hillary was his love of the natural environment of the frozen continent. Don't Miss NZ Prime Minister Clark issues statement I-Report: Send photos, videos, memories of Sir Edmund Hillary "Most of all you could tell he was in love with what was outside, which was that wild, harsh continent and the ability to live in that," Sanson said. In his later years, Hillary became a strong supporter of environmental causes and worked to improve the lives of Nepal's Sherpas. His Himalayan Trust has helped build schools, hospitals and airstrips in Nepal since 1961. Hillary was not always complimentary of the more than 1,300 people who have climbed Everest since he did. In 2006, he harshly criticized a group of about 40 climbers that left Englishman David Sharp, 34, to die as they kept climbing to the top of Everest. "Human life is far more important than just getting to the top of a mountain," he said at the time. "I think the whole attitude toward climbing Mt. Everest has become rather horrifying -- the people just want to get to the top. In 2003, Hillary was made an honorary citizen of Nepal on the 50th anniversary of his historic climb. Funeral arrangements would not be set until family members had returned from overseas, Sainsbury said
    free happiness with every moment!
    stoneyb


      So there is another kiwi on here. Where in NZ are you?


      Now that was a bath...

        Sad about Sir Ed. I'm in South Auckland. Papa 2 toes. Claire xxx
      • jlynnbob "HTFU, Kookie's distal tibia"
      • Where's my closet? I need to get back in it.
          I thought he was already dead--weird.
            How did I not hear this? I watched the news this morning. Apparently Britney's latest escapades were deemed more important. Thanks for the post. He is and was indeed an icon. There aren't enough left like him anymore. RIP. I hope he's found some new mountains to climb.
            E-mail: JakeKnight2002@aol.com
            -----------------------------

              I was lucky enough to meet him in person when he came to my high school to give a talk. An impressive man, to be sure. I think this part of the article is cool:
              He returned in 1953, when he and Tenzing made their ascent -- spending 15-30 minutes at the summit. Hillary left a crucifix at the top of the mountain and Tenzing, in keeping with his Buddhist beliefs, left an offering of food. Hillary took a picture of Tenzing at the peak but, because the Sherpa guide did not know how to use a camera, there are no pictures of Hillary there.


              I've got a fever...

                Hillary was not always complimentary of the more than 1,300 people who have climbed Everest since he did. In 2006, he harshly criticized a group of about 40 climbers that left Englishman David Sharp, 34, to die as they kept climbing to the top of Everest. "Human life is far more important than just getting to the top of a mountain," he said at the time. "I think the whole attitude toward climbing Mt. Everest has become rather horrifying -- the people just want to get to the top.
                I appreciate the fact that Sir Ed would've given up being first to the top if it had meant saving a life. A very decent man. Always thought that Tenzig Norgay (The "Buzz Aldrin" of Everest) deserved a little more credit and fame for the accomplishment, but that doesn't diminish Hillary in any way.

                On your deathbed, you won't wish that you'd spent more time at the office.  But you will wish that you'd spent more time running.  Because if you had, you wouldn't be on your deathbed.


                Princess Cancer Pants

                  That's a guy who defined HTFU! RIP, Sir Ed.

                  '17 Goals:

                  • Chemo

                  • Chemo-Radiation

                  • Surgery

                  • Return to kicking my own ass by 2018

                   

                  She was not strong. She was valiant. Radiant. Brave and broken. The beauty she discovered in the aftermath was unparalleled to anything she had known before, because it had come at such a cost.

                  ~ Unknown

                    Always thought that Tenzig Norgay (The "Buzz Aldrin" of Everest) deserved a little more credit and fame for the accomplishment, but that doesn't diminish Hillary in any way.
                    Sounds like Hillary thought Norgay deserved more credit too. This is from the LA Times: http://www.latimes.com/news/obituaries/la-me-hillary11jan11,0,1988120.story?page=3&track=mostviewed-storylevel From the beginning, Hillary was asked whether he or Tenzing was actually the first to set foot on the summit of Everest. "This has always been a controversial thing, but not between Tenzing and myself," Hillary said in 1984. "I actually did lead the last few hundred feet up to the summit. But it was of complete unimportance as far as the mountaineer is concerned." In 2000, Hillary said, "It was a very silly thing, really. We were a team, and what difference did it make that one of us reached the top a few seconds ahead of the other? But I finally got tired of all the questions, [so] when Tenzing wrote [that Hillary was about 6 feet ahead] in his book, I admitted it too."

                    Amy

                      So there is another kiwi on here. Where in NZ are you?
                      there are a few kiwis on here. i'm not one of them (yet?) but i am living in wellington Smile