Roald Amundsen (1872--1928) was a Norwegian explorer of polar regions who led the expedition in 1911--1912 which first reached the South Pole on December 14, 1911 (however the discovery wasn't announced until March 7, 1912). His party, including Olav Bjaaland, Helmer Hanssen, Sverre Hassel and Oscar Wisting, preceded the arrival of that of his rival, Robert Falcon Scott of the United Kingdom, by over a month. Amundsen recounted his journey in the book The South Pole: An Account of the Norwegian Antarctic Expedition in the "Fram", 1910--1912.
Amundsen also successfully traversed the Northwest Passage connecting the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, after many unsuccessful searches by others. Unfortunately, the route he found was not practically useful; at some points, the water was as little as three feet deep.
Amundsen died in 1928 in an airplane crash in the Arctic Ocean; he had been on a rescue mission for the Italian explorer Umberto Nobile. Umberto Nobile's airship, the 'Italia' had crashed. His airplane was never found.