Coronado, Francisco Vásquez de (1510–1554), a Spanish explorer of the American Southwest. He was born in Salamanca, Spain, and came to Mexico in 1535. While Coronado was a provincial governor he heard of fabulous wealth in the "Seven Cities of Cibola." In 1540 he was sent to find these cities but discovered them to be only poor Indian pueblos in what is now New Mexico. In 1541 Coronado went to look for "Quivira," a land said to be rich in gold. He reached what is now eastern Kansas, but found only Indian villages. Coronado returned to Mexico in 1542. Some of his men discovered the Grand Canyon of the Colorado.

Coronado's expedition 1540-1542.Coronado's expedition 1540-1542. This map shows the explorations of Francisco Vásquez de Coronado in the American Southwest. In his search for the legendary cities of Cibola and Quivira, Coronado traveled through Mexico and the present-day states of Arizona, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas.