Who was Ferdinand Magellan?

Ferdinand Magellan (c. 1480-1521) was an early explorer of the New World. He was one of the first individuals to cross all the meridians of the globe, sailing to the Pacific through the South American straits that now bear his name.

Magellan, though Portuguese by birth, captained the Spanish fleet in the first expedition to circumnavigate the globe (1519-1522). He did not survive the entire journey. He was caught in a native war in the Philippines in 1521 and died by getting a spear through his heart. Only one of his five ships and 18 of the crew of 250 completed the trip. (Four other survivors made their way back from Portuguese captivity.)

The commanding officer of the one remaining ship, the Victoria, was Juan Sebastian Elcano (also spelled del Cano) who, unfortunately, has all but dissolved into the annals of history. It was Elcano who decided to continue westward, despite the hazards this posed. The fashion of the day dictated that the fleet Captain received the honour of the voyage and as such it went to Magellan. He was, after all, responsible for getting them as far as the Philippines.
Ferdinand Magellan was an explorer from Portugal who helped plan and execute the first boat trip all the way around the Earth.