Sir Edmund Hillary Passes Away

By: Anne Cutler Email
By: Anne Cutler Email

Sir Edmund Hillary, the first person to stand atop the world's highest mountain, is remembered as a deeply driven but unassuming man who strived to help the people of Nepal in the decades after his ascent of Mount Everest.

Hillary, died Friday of a heart attack at 88. He will have a state funeral in New Zealand, where he began the mountaineering career that took him and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay to the tallest point on earth.

He is survived by his children Peter and Sarah and wife June, who said her family was comforted by the messages of support from around the world.

She said Hillary had been hospitalized on Monday and died peacefully.

Hillary's life was marked by grand achievements, high adventure, discovery, excitement - but he was especially proud of his decades-long campaign to set up schools and health clinics in Nepal. That is the homeland of Tenzing Norgay, the mountain guide with whom he stood arm in arm on the 29,035-foot summit of Everest on May 29, 1953.


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