18 Amerigo Vespucci Facts for Kids
Amerigo Vespucci was the “founder,” of America. North America and South America are both named for him. But how much do you know about this early explorer? In this article, we will post a few facts for you about Amerigo Vespucci and his fascinating life.
1. March 9, 1451 is Amerigo Vespucci’s birthday.
2. Amerigo was born in Italy (Florence, Italy) originally. However, he later became a Spanish citizen.
3. Amerigo did not go to elementary, middle, or high school. Instead, he was mostly educated by one of his uncles, Giorgio Antonio Vespucci, who was a monk.
4. In his 20s, Amerigo traveled to Paris, France. Most likely, this diplomatic trip (which was an assignment from one of his uncles) gave him his first taste of world travel.
5. Before his travels, Amerigo worked as a banker in Spain.
6. The travels of Christopher Columbus also inspired Amerigo to travel.
7. Amerigo’s explorations were funded by the king and queen of Spain at the time, Ferdinand and Isabella. Later, the Portuguese would also fund some of his travels.
8. Before he started traveling, Amerigo was already around 40 years old.
9. Amerigo gave the name “The New World,” to South America. He did very little exploring in North America.
10. Each of the journeys to the New World took Vespucci around 5 weeks each.
11. It is thought that Vespucci may have actually been the first to discover Venezuela, perhaps a whole year before Christopher Columbus.
12. Amerigo discovered the Amazon River. He also discovered Rio de Janeiro, Cape St. Augustine, and Brazil.
13. Even though we say that Amerigo discovered these things, native peoples were already living in all of these areas when this European explorer arrived.
14. After his second journey, Amerigo decided to start writing down his experiences while exploring to leave a record behind after his death.
15. It is not known whether Vespucci made four, five, or six journeys, in total, to the New World.
16. When Amerigo died he was nearly 58 years old. He died of a disease called malaria while living in the city of Seville, Spain.
17. A German map maker was the first to insist that the part of the world which Amerigo discovered (South America) be called America in his honor. America is the female version of the name Amerigo.
18. Later, the name America was also given to North America. Christopher Columbus, however, had discovered lots of these areas, not Amerigo Vespucci.