My history hero: Paul Rose chooses Fridtjof Nansen

Adventurer Paul Rose chooses explorer, zoologist and diplomat, Fridtjof Nansen (1861–1930)

A portrait of Fridtjof Nansen, taken after his daring expedition across Greenland. (Image by Alamy)

One of Norway’s most famous sons, Fridtjof Nansen was an explorer, zoologist and diplomat. In 1888, he led the first expedition across the Greenland icecap. Five years later he made an attempt to reach the geographical north pole aboard the Fram, a ship designed to withstand being imprisoned in ice through the Arctic winter as it was carried towards its destination by ocean currents. Beyond exploration, Nansen was an advocate for Norwegian independence from Sweden. He was also the League of Nations’ high commissioner for refugees and the recipient of the 1922 Nobel peace prize for his work on behalf of those displaced by the First World War.

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