October 10th 1861 - May 13th 1930
Fridtjof Nansen was interested in science since childhood. He was a zoologist, oceanographer and a pioneer in neurobiology.
In 1888, Nansen became world famous when he led the first successful expedition across the Greenlandic ice sheet. Unlike previous expeditions, Nansen and his companions chose to cross the inland ice from east to west.
Nansen also led an expedition with the custom-built polar ship Fram, which was supposed to drift with the ice across the Arctic Ocean and hence cross the North Pole (1893-1896).Fram failed to reach the North Pole so in 1895 Nansen left the ship with Hjalmar Johansen, in an attempt to trek to the pole, using skis and dogsleds. Although Nansen and Johansen did not reach the North Pole, they were hailed as heroes upon their return to Norway.
Following Norway's independence in 1905, Nansen was appointed the country's first ambassador to London.
After World War I, Nansen made a great humanitarian effort for prisoners of war and refugees. He organized relief to the Russian people, who were hit hard by famine because of the revolution and civil war. During the 1920s he engaged in bringing peace between Turkey and Greece and to help Armenians who had fled the genocide in Turkey.
Nansen became the first High Commissioner for Refugees in the League of Nations, a predecessor of the United Nations.
In 1922 Nansen was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his humanitarian and peacekeeping work.
Greenland expedition, July–October 1888
♦ Dotted line shows approach of Jason, to 17 July. Continuous line shows drift of Nansen's party southward to 29 July, and the boat journey northward to Umivik Fjord.
♦ The originally planned crossing route, from Sermilik to Qasigiannguit.
♦ Actual crossing route from Umivik Fjord to Nuuk (15th of August to 3rd of October 1888).
Routes taken during the 1893–96 Fram expedition through the Arctic Ocean
♦ Fram's route eastward from Vardø along the Siberian coast, turning north at the New Siberian Islands to enter the pack ice (July–September 1893).
♦ Fram's drift in the ice from the New Siberian Islands north and west to Spitsbergen (September 1893 – August 1896).
♦ Nansen and Johansen's march to Farthest North, 86°13.6′N, and subsequent retreat to Cape Flora in Franz Josef Land (March 1895 – June 1896).
♦ Nansen and Johansen's return to Vardø from Cape Flora (August 1896).
♦ Fram's voyage from Spitsbergen to Tromsø (August 1896).