The master navigator and the navigator of four transatlantic voyages, Christopher Columbus was born on October 31, 1451, in the Republic of Genoa. Columbus who started exploring the sea as a teenager participated in several trading voyages in the Mediterranean and Aegean seas. One such voyage, to the island of Khios, in modern day Greece, brought him the closest he would ever come to Asia.
Columbus made his transatlantic voyages under the sponsorship of Ferdinand II and Isabella I, the Catholic Monarchs of Aragon, Castile, and Leon in Spain. He is known to have discovered the New World, although Vikings such as Leif Eriksson had visited North America five centuries earlier. But it was his journey that kicked off the exploration of the American continents.
He died on May 20 1506.