Roald Engelbregt Gravning Amundsen was a Norwegian explorer of polar regions. He led the Antarctic expedition of 1910–12 which was the first to reach the South Pole, on 14 December 1911. In 1926, he was the first expedition leader for the air expedition to the North Pole.
Amundsen is recognized as the first person to have reached both the north and south poles. He is also known as having the first expedition to traverse the Northwest Passage (1903–06) in the Arctic.
In June 1928, while taking part in a rescue mission for the Airship Italia, the plane he was in disappeared. Amundsen was a key expedition leader during the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration, in the class of Douglas Mawson, Robert Falcon Scott, and Ernest Shackleton.