Cortez didn't actually discover anything new, but he is famous for conquering Mexico in the 16th Century. Born in Spain, he traveled to the New World in search of fame and fortune at the age of 19. He landed in what is now Mexico in 1519, and eventually conquered it from the Aztec empire of Montezuma. Cortes then founded Mexico City on the site of the Aztec capital TenochtitlÃ¡n. He became the rule of "New Spain", as it was called at the time. He also introduced European diseases to the Aztecs, which would kill roughly 80% of them. With those left, he forced them to melt the gold the Aztec leader had, and so he carried back tons of gold to Spain. He had held the Aztec Leader captive; he made him transfer to Christianity and taught him to speak Spanish. When Cortez was done, there was no use for him anymore, so he was burned at the stake.I think it he was burned alive.
Conquistador of Mexico. His secretary described him as ruthless, haughty, quarrelsome, and much given to women, qualities that served him well. He sailed to Hispaniola in 1504 and in 1511 joined an expedition to Cuba.