Edmund Hillary, the first person to scale Mount Everest, has died at age 88, Bloomberg reports. Hillary scaled the world's highest mountain in 1953, gaining renown as one of the great adventurers in the 20th century. Despite his fame, Hillary remained modest about his Everest achievement and those that followed, and spent much of his life helping to improve living conditions of the Sherpa mountain people of Nepal.
"He was an heroic figure who not only 'knocked off' Everest but lived a life of determination, humility, and generosity," said New Zealand PM Helen Clark. Hillary, who preferred to call himself a beekeeper rather than an adventurer, climbed Everest with Sherpa Tenzing Norgay after countless expeditions had failed before them.