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He scaled the world's highest mountain along with Tenzing Norgay in 1953, just days before the coronation of Elizabeth II. After climbing the 8,850m peak of Everest, Sir Edmund spent much of his life supporting humanitarian work among the Sherpas, and led expeditions to the South Pole and the source of the Yangtze River.
Hillary was given honorary Nepalese citizenship in 2003 on the golden jubilee of his Mount Everest triumph to honour his services to the people and the Solukhumbhu region where Everest is located. Members of the alpine community and people who had benefitted from Hillary's work in the mountain kingdom mourned his passing. By his death, this day closes one of the great chapters of planetary exploration".