Kane, Elisha Kent (1820-1857), a United States arctic explorer. Kane Basin, which separates Greenland from Ellesmere Island. Canada, is named for him. Kane was born in Philadelphia. He received a medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 1842. In 1850 he was medical officer on an arctic expedition sent out to search for Sir John Franklin.
Convinced that there was an open polar sea and that survivors of the Franklin expedition might be found on the shores of that sea, Kane arranged for another expedition in 1853. The ship, however, became frozen in the ice, and after 21 months Kane and his men made an 83-day journey by boat and sledge to a Danish settlement on Greenland, 1,300 miles (2,100 km) away.