* 1728 Marton bei Middlesbrough
† 1779 Hawaii
James Cook was born on October 27, 1728, in Marton, Yorkshire, the son of a poor landsman and a Scottish woman. Cook began an apprenticeship as a grocer at the age of 13. He then worked for seven years on a coal ship. He used his meager income to finance his own education in mathematics and navigation. Cook surveyed and mapped the coasts of Nova Scotia and Newfoundland from 1764 until 1767. He left Plymouth Harbor on the "Resolution" in July 1772, in order to explore the South Seas and the South Pole. He visited the Kerguelen Islands and Tasmania, before discovering the Cook Archipelago, which is named for him. At the end of 1777, he sailed northwards and discovered Christmas Island on December 25th. He was stabbed during an argument with natives over a pilfered boat. James Cook died on February 14, 1779.