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Our last month's gladiator
Sir Edmund Hillary
20 July 1919 Ė 11 January 2008
Beekeeper from New Zealand
who conquered Mt. Everest

"I think the whole attitude towards climbing Mount Everest has become rather horrifying. The people just want to get to the top. They don't give a damn for anybody else who may be in distress and it doesn't impress me at all that they leave someone lying under a rock to die."
- Sir Edmund Hillary
As quoted in The Age (25 May 2006)

If it were not for his grit and determination to make his dreams come true, Sir Edmund Hillary would have lived and died as a beekeeper in New Zealand. Being a beekeeper his job was to keep bees and maintain bee colonies, perhaps that's what inculcated in him the value and importance of every single being who is a part of this planet. His sincere concern for humanity and selfless service over other material successes pushed him further to help build schools and hospitals, for people living in remote regions of the Himalayas, apart from his continuous efforts to improve the ecology of the region.

"On my expedition there was no way that you would have left a man under a rock to die. It simply would not have happened. It would have been a disaster from our point of view. There have been a number of occasions when people have been neglected and left to die and I donít regard this as a correct philosophy. I am absolutely certain that if any member of our expedition all those years ago had been in that situation we would have made every effort."
- Sir Edmund Hillary
As quoted in The Tribune (India) (29 May 2006)

Although he conquered the world's highest mountain, he would still be known to the people of this world as the most "down to earth" celebrity.

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