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Engraving of Captain James Cook (1728-79), English explorer. Cook joined the Royal Navy in 1755, qualifying as master in 1759. His first major voyage was in 1768, in which he circumnavigated New Zealand and landed in Australia. In his second Pacific voyage he sailed around Australia, showing that the unknown 'southern continent' had to be the Antarctic. His third voyage, from 1776 to 1779, took him the whole length of the Pacific, discovering Hawaii in the process. It was there that he was killed by natives following a scuffle over the theft of one of the ship's boats. By the time of his death, the oceans of the world had been completely mapped.
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