Continents named for a Italian navigator would live on forever.
AMERIGO VESPUCCI will long be remembered as the man America was named after but who was this inconsequential explorer and how did he get his name on two continents?
Vespucci was born in 1454 to a prominent family in Florence, Italy. As a young man he read widely and collected books and maps. He began working for local bankers and was sent to Spain in 1492 to look after his employer's business interests.
While in Spain, Amerigo Vespucci began working on ships and ultimately went on his first expedition as a navigator in 1499. This expedition reached the mouth of the Amazon River and explored the coast of South America. Vespucci was able to calculate how far west he had traveled by observing the conjunction of Mars and the Moon.
Supplement: 500 Year Old Map America's 'Birth Certificate'