Narváez, (1480?-1528), a Spanish soldier and explorer. Narváez came to America in 1498 and served in the conquest of Cuba in 1511. In 1520 he was ordered by the Spanish governor of Cuba, Diego de Velásquez, to lead an expedition to remove Hernando Cortez from command in Mexico. However, he was captured by Cortez and was later returned to Spain.

In 1526 Narváez received authorization from the king of Spain to conquer and govern Florida and the unexplored lands of the northern Gulf of Mexico coast. He landed with about 400 men at Tampa Bay in 1528 and marched north in search of gold. The expedition lost contact with its ships and had to build new boats at the shore of Apalachee Bay, in northwestern Florida. Narváez planned to take the party westward to Mexico, but he was drowned in a storm off the Texas coast. Four survivors, led by Cabeza de Vaca, reached Mexico after years of wandering. Their stories of riches in the Southwest inspired Coronado's exploration of the region.