Christopher Columbus Fact File Biography: Lifespan: 1451 - 1506 *** Full Name: Christophorus or Cristoforo Columbus *** Occupation: Italian Explorer and Navigator, Colonizer and Citizen of the Republic of Genoa *** Date of Birth: Christopher Columbus was born before October 31st 1451 *** Place of Birth: Christopher Columbus was born in Genoa, Republic of Genoa *** Early life and childhood: Christopher Columbus grew up with his brothers Bartolomeo, Giovanni and Giacomo as well as a sister Bianchinetta *** Education: Christopher Columbus may have received a small amount of an education in order for him to have become a navigator *** He died on May 20, 1506.
Christopher Columbus Fact 1: Christopher Columbus was born between 31 October 1450 and 30 October 1451, records of births were not accurate at the time so his exact birthday was never recorded. Family background: His father was Domenico Colombo a wool weaver of middle class and his mother was Susanna Fontanarossa.
Christopher Columbus Fact 2: It is believe he first went to sea as a boy of ten years. It is also believed he never wrote in his own native language.
Christopher Columbus Fact 3: In 1470 Christopher Columbus is believed to have been aboard a ship in the service of Rene of Anjou in a bid to conquer the Kingdom of Naples.
Christopher Columbus Fact 4: During 1473 he would begin his apprenticeship as an agent of business for the eminent Centurione Di Negro and the Spinola families.
Christopher Columbus Fact 5: During May of 1476 he was to take part in an armed convey that was sent by Genoa containing valuable cargo to the northern region of Europe.
Christopher Columbus Fact 6: The ship docked in Bristol in England and then Galway in Ireland.
Christopher Columbus Fact 7: During the autumn of 1477 he sailed from Galway to Lisbon on a Portuguese ship where he would come across his brother, Bartolomeo and together they resumed trading for the Centurione family.
Christopher Columbus Fact 8: Between 1477 and 1485 he based himself in Lisbon, he married a Portuguese noblemanís daughter, Filipa Moniz Perestrelo and together they had a son, Diego Columbus.
Christopher Columbus Fact 9: From 1482 to 1485 he would trade along the coasts of West Africa and would reach the Portuguese trading post of Elmina.
Christopher Columbus Fact 10: In 1485 he settled in Castile having left Portugal and began a relationship with a twenty year old girl called Beatriz Enriquez de Arana. It is not clear whether he left his wife or whether she died in Portugal.
Christopher Columbus Fact 11: In order to further his career Christopher Columbus learnt Castilian, Latin and Portuguese and began reading extensively, books on geography, history and astronomy.
Christopher Columbus Fact 12: Christopher Columbus was also a very religious man, often quoting the Bible. In an effort to get the backing of the Spanish Catholic Monarchs for expeditions, he took to quoting readings from the Second Book of Esdras, which read that the earth is made of six parts to one part water.
Christopher Columbus Fact 13: His first big voyage was in the attempt to locate a route through to the rich lands of Cathay, to India and beyond to the gold and spice islands of the East.
Christopher Columbus Fact 14: It was his dream to succeed from these voyages and to elevate his standing in society. King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain finally agree to act as patrons to Christopher Columbus and provided money and ships for the expedition. He left Palos, Spain in search of the Indies on his ship, called the Santa Maria, accompanied by his son, Fernando. The other two ships in the small fleet were called the Pinta and the Nina. Martin Alonso Pinzon commanded the Pinta and his brother, Vicente Yanez Pinzon commanded the Nina. The three ships, the Santa Maria, the Pinta and the Nina, carried 120 men.
Christopher Columbus Fact 15: In 1492 his fleet set sail and followed a southerly direction towards the Canary Islands northwest of Africaís mainland instead of sailing towards the Azores in the West. By heading towards the Canary Islands he would pick up the northeast trade winds.
Christopher Columbus Fact 16: His crew were becoming anxious that land had not been sighted and that supplies were getting low for a return home. Landfall was soon sighted, this would be one of the Caribbean islands, they did not stop long as Columbus wanted to press on.
Christopher Columbus Fact 17: He was fairly convinced he had found Japan, but in fact it was Cuba. He disappointed at not finding the great cities and wealth he had heard so much about. Instead they headed south-eastward in search of China and so missed the chance of setting foot on the soil of Florida.
Christopher Columbus Fact 18: They did however find Haiti and renamed it La Isla Espanola. Although Christopher Columbus did not specifically locate the destination he had hoped for, what he did find was enough gold to save himself from ridicule upon his return home.
Christopher Columbus Fact 19: With the assistance of the local chief, Guacanagari, a stockade was put up and thirty nine men chosen to stay behind and guard the area he called La Navidad, until he returned. The return journey was fraught with difficulties but Christopher Columbus eventually made his return and such were his riches that he was permitted another voyage and this time headed up seventeen vessels.
Christopher Columbus Fact 20: Once returned to La Navidad he was shocked to find his men murdered and his stockade devastated. With more men and equipment further fortifications were erected and a small city founded called La Isabela, after their Queen. The land was explored and many riches were found.
Christopher Columbus Fact 21: Having taken his two brothers, Diego and Bartholomeo with him, when he made his return trip home he left his brothers in charge of the settlement.
Christopher Columbus Fact 22: Many had not agreed with the way the Columbus brothers ruled, or Columbus himself, when he returned.Christopher Columbus Fact 23: Francisco de Bodadilla, the Spanish Chief Justice made the journey to la Navidad and found against the Columbus brothers, clapping them all in chains he had them transported directly back to Cadiz.
Christopher Columbus Fact 24: During the voyage Christopher Columbus was allowed to write a letter to his sovereigns and a letter of such humility and mystical quality had never been written before. He managed to express his feelings and findings in such a way as to persuade his sovereigns that his intentions had all been good and even though he had not quite found the prize he had sought he had come, thanks be to God, very close.
Christopher Columbus Fact 25: Christopher Columbus was forgiven his trespasses largely on the back of his remarkable navigational skills and he was given permission to mount a fourth expedition.
Christopher Columbus Fact 26: By this time Christopher Columbus was quite ill and under the circumstances he was forbidden to return to Hispaniola and instead sent to explore the other world to the South.
Christopher Columbus Fact 27: Having ignored his orders, Christopher Columbus headed for Hispaniola and was refused entry and finally moved on. With poor weather in June of 1503 Columbus and his crew would find themselves castaways on the coast of Jamaica.
Christopher Columbus Fact 28: Eventually the castaways were rescued and returned home. Columbus reputation was by far from good, but he still maintained he had found the legendary Cathay.
Christopher Columbus Fact 29: Christopher Columbus died on May 20, 1506 aged fifty four in his home in Valladolid in Spain. His body was originally buried in Valladolid, but after two more resting places, he was finally laid to rest in the Cathedral of Seville in Spain.
Influence and Legacy of Christopher Columbus: His legacy is one of exploration and the discovery of America and that if one has the courage of oneís convictions, one can go and seize his opportunities and profit as well as prosper by them.