The most famous explorer of all time, who was the first European man to land on South America, is not easily forgotten. Christopher Columbus was born in Genoa, Italy, between the dates of August 25 and October 31, 1451. His given and family name was Christoforo Columbo. Being the oldest of five children, two girls and three boys (who worked with him on many of his enterprises), much was expected of him in his young adult years.
Columbus' ambitious father pushed his son into a business career, where he worked as an agent for the Spinola, Di Negro, and Centurione families of Genoa. .
Attending mass at a chapel at the Corvento dos Santo, a school for women who were aristocratic, is what Christopher Columbus did often. There he met Felipa Perestrello Moniz whom he married in1479. They later moved to Porto Santo, where they had a son, Diego, who was born in 1480. Felipa died in 1484 or 1485. During1480-1482, Columbus voyaged to the Canary Islands, where he stared to plan a voyage westward.
Richness was what Christopher Columbus desired, and an easy way (or so he thought) was to find a quicker route to the Indies, because silk, gems, gold and spices were in demand. When the Portuguese sailors were trying to reach Asia by sailing around Africa, Columbus thought the most easy way was sailing due west.
Many people in the 1400's relied on a map of the world made by Ptolemy, a geographer and astronomer in Alexandria, Egypt. This map showed that most of the world was covered by land.
Christopher Columbus had based his plan on two major miscalculations. First, he underestimated the world's circumference by about 25%. Second, he believed that the world's surface was mostly land, leading him to the conclusion that Asia extended farther east than it actually did. But planning was much easier than getting support.
In 1483, he presented his plan to King John Ã of Portugal.