The tall and lean Sir Edmund never expected to become a world-renowned celebrity.It is rumored that the New Zealander will have a state funeral in Auckland.
"I was a bit naive, really," he told the Detroit Free Press in 2000. "I was just a country boy. I thought the mountaineering world would be interested, but I never dreamed that it would have that effect on people who didn't climb."
And, he maintained, he never regarded himself as a hero.
"I was a mountaineer who worked to reach the summits of mountains," he told USA Today in 1998. "Even in my 79th year, I don't believe a word of the rubbish printed over the years."
Friday, January 11, 2008
Sir Edmund Hillary Dead at 88
The mountain climbing world lost an icon as Sir Edmund Hillary passed away at the age of 88. Hillary was the first man to climb Mt. Everest along with his Nepalese Sherpa Tenzing Norgay on May 29, 1953, climbing with gear and clothing that no climber would ever be caught using today. Humble, almost to a fault, Everest made Hillary famous to a degree that he never expected: