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Edmund Hillary was born in Auckland, New Zealand.He learned from his parents to care for other people. When he was young he helped the family with the beekeeping business. His mother was a teacher and advanced him through his lessons to the extent that he was able to go on to high school at age eleven. In 1944 he joined the New Zealand air force. When he was off on the weekends he climbed nearby mountains. He used the money he got when he retired to fund his mountaineering expeditions for the next few years. He joined some early expeditions to Mt. Everest in 1951 and 1952, then John Hunt invited him to join the British expedition to scale Mt. Everest which is the tallest mountain on earth.They started out with 14 climbers and 350 porters to carry food and supplies. They made camps at different altitudes and climbed for two months before reaching the summit of Mt. Everest. Hillary and Tenzing Norgay, a veteran Sherpa climber from Nepal, were the only two on the expedition who made it all the way to the top. Hillary was an humble man. For many years he refused to acknowledge that he was the first man to reach the top of Mt. Everest. He maintained that he and Tenzing were a team. When they returned from the climb they were welcomed as heroes. Four days after their return Elizabeth II was crowned Queen of England. One of her first acts was to knight Edmund Hillary and John Hunt. Hillary felt a deep obligation to the Sherpa people who had helped him, and he spent the rest of his life fulfilling that obligation. He had a big and generous heart. He made more than 120 trips to Nepal to help the people there. Hillary believed in conservation and in taking care of our planet. Sir Edmund Hillary died January 11, 2008 at the age of eighty-eight. His death is mourned by people all over the world.