Roald Amundsen

As a child in Norway, Roald Amundsen dreamed of being a polar explorer. At 26, he was one of the first people to spend the long, dark winter in Antarctica. By his 30s, he was the first person to sail a ship through the Northwest Passage in the Arctic. In 1910, he wanted to reach the North Pole first. But when the Americans did it, he turned to the South Pole—launching a race with the British team. In December 1911, he claimed the prize.

Image credits: main image, © AGE Fotostock; Roald Amundsen: © AGE Fotostock; Roald Amundsen: © AGE Fotostock.