Rasmussen, Knud Johan Victor (1879-1933), a Danish explorer of Greenland. He was born in Greenland, and attended Copenhagen University. A trip to Lapland in 1901 helped prepare him for later expeditions across Greenland, to study the country and Eskimo life. Rasmussen founded Thule in 1910, and between 1912 and 1914 traveled more than 1,300 miles (2,100 km) over the ice, discovering a large area of ice-free land with much game. During his expedition of 1921-24, he made a thorough ethnological survey of Eskimo tribes.
Cook, James (1728 - 1779), a British navigator. Captain Cook accurately charted vast regions of the South Pacific; provided a basis for England's claim to Australia and New Zealand; and developed a diet that prevented scurvy among seamen.
Empires rise and empires fall -- it's a seemingly unavoidable fact of life on Earth. But these superpowers reigned longer than any others. What can we learn from their missteps and achievements?