Mountain climber and explorer Sir Edmund Hillary was born in Auckland, New Zealand on July 20, 1919. He became one of the first two men to successfully climb to the top of Mount Everest, the tallest mountain in the world. He and his Sherpa guide, Tenzing Norkay, reached the top of Everest on May 29, 1953. Hillary wrote of this conquest in a chapter titled "Final Assault," found in The Conquest of Everest by Sir John Hunt. Queen Elizabeth knighted both of them during the coronation festivities of 1953. Before the Everest triumph, Hillary had written several books about his adventures on other famous expeditions, including several climbs of other Himalayan peaks. In 1957, he established New Zealand's Scott Base in Antarctica and led the first vehicles overland to the South Pole. In June 1960, Hillary announced that in the fall he would attempt an ascent of the 27,790-foot Malaka Peak in Nepal, about 20 miles east of Everest. He had two objectives: "...first, to determine the effects of high altitude on climbers not equipped with oxygen equipment and, second, to make further efforts to track down the 'Abominable Snowman'" (New York Times). The results, which were negligible, are told in High in the Thin Cold Air (1962), which Hillary co-authored with Desmond Doig. This expedition did, however, establish a school at Khumjung, which made up for some of the other disappointments. In 1985 Hillary was named ambassador to India. He died on January 11, 2008 at the age of 88.