Ferdinand Magellan, (1480?-1521) the Portuguese-born Spanish explorer and navigator, leader of the first expedition to circumnavigate, or sail completely around the world. He was born in northern Portugal and is perhaps the most famous explorer of all tim, proving that the world was indeed, round.
Portuguese sea captain Ferdinand Magellan and his crew were the first Europeans to sail around the world, proving that the world was round. From 1519 to 1521 Magellan, with five ships and a Spanish crew of about 250 men, searched for a western route to the Moluccas, or Spice Islands. He was killed on April 27, 1521 when he interfered in a dispute between indigenous people in the Philippines.
Only two of his ships continued to the Spice Islands. The two ships then made separate return voyages, and only one, commanded by Juan Sebastian del Cano, completed the trip back to Spain.
Magellan set out to reach the East Indies by sailing westward from Europe, which no one was sure could be done. He intended to return by the same route, but after his death his crews found that the prevailing winds required them to keep sailing west, around the world.