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Roald Amundsen (1872-1928), Norwegian explorer and leader of the first expedition to reach the South Pole. Amundsen abandoned his medical training in favour of a life at sea. In 1903 he became the first to sail through the icy Northwest Passage between Canada and the Arctic. Beaten to the North Pole by Robert Peary in 1910, he reached the South Pole one month ahead of Captain Scott's ill-fated team in 1911. After several unsuccessful attempts, he became the first to fly over the North Pole, drifting over it in an airship with the Italian explorer Umberto Nobile in 1926. In 1928, Amundsen disappeared at sea after flying in search of Nobile, whose airship crashed during a later expedition to the Pole.
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