CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS His name was Cristoforo Columbus, but mostly all people knew him as Christopher Columbus. He was soon to be a great Spanish explorer. But before that could happen he was born in Genoa, Italy in 1451, he was the oldest of five children, and was an obedient son. He had little schooling, so he did not read or write as a young boy. One thing he did know from an early age was he loved the sea. He vowed as a young boy that as soon he was old enough he would go out to sea. Christopher became a sailor by his early teens, and traveled to Greece and Portugal. In 1476, he was a crewman on the ship that was attacked by French pirates. Chris was very lucky and once the ship and everything in it was destroyed he found a piece of the ship and swam six miles to the nearest shore. He then traveled to Lisbon, Portugal where his brother Bartholomew owned a book and map store. From the books the taught him self all that he could about mapmaking and navigation. Next Christopher became fascinated by Marco Poloaccounts of his journey to Asia in 1271. Columbus believed that the quickest and most direct route to this fascinating place was to cross the waters that they called Sea of Darkness" back then. Starting in 1484 Christopher tried to convince King John of Portugal to pay for his supplies, ships, and a crew for his voyage to Marco Polo amazing gold mine. .
King John did not accept simply because he thought Columbus would fail. After failing with King John, Columbus decided to ask King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain. After a few times of asking them they agreed. On August 3, 1492 the rulers of Spain gave Columbus three ships called the Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria, and paid for 90 crewmen and supplies. Christopher was completely excited and could not believe he was the captain of his own voyage to find spices, gold, and precious jewels. This is what he had been dreaming about since he was a little boy.