Biography of Vilhalmur Stefansson


Stefansson, Vilhjalmur. Arctic explorer. Born at Arnes, Manitoba, 1879. After graduating at the State University of Iowa, 1903, Stefansson studied at Harvard Divinity School, 1903-04, and at Harvard Graduate School, 1904-06. During 1904 and 1905 he made archeological trips to Iceland. In 1906-07 he made an ethnological expedition, under the auspices of Harvard and Toronto universities to the Eskimo of the Mackenzie Delta. For the American Museum of Natural History in conjunction with the Canadian government, Stefansson made a second expedition to the Mackenzie region, 1908-12. On this trip of 52 months, he discovered and lived for a year with the Eskimo, who had never seen a white man. He also discovered Horton River, 500 miles long. As commander of the Canadian Arctic Expedition, 1913-18, he found new land north of Banks Island, and new islands west of Heiberg Island. Author: "With the Eskimo," "Friendly Arctic," and various scientific papers.