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Erik the Red
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    (circa 950-circa 1003)
    Born in Norway
    Founded the first Norse colony in Greenland
    Father of Leif Erikson
    His family was banished from Norway to Iceland after his father murdered a man.
    In Iceland, he killed the two sons of a neighbor who borrowed his shovel and did not return it.
    He was exiled from Iceland after killing another person who had killed some of Erik's slaves.
    He is often erroneously credited with discovering Greenland although other Norsemen had traveled there a century earlier.
    Even though the island is mostly covered in ice, he named it Greenland to attract settlers.
    He had a chance to accompany his son on his exploration of North America, but he fell off his horse on the way to the ship and took this as a bad omen.
    Unlike earlier attempts, his colonization of Greenland was successful.
    The Norse settlements in Greenland lasted for nearly 500 years until the 'Little Ice Age' of the 15th century.
    He provided an early illustration of the importance of a good brand name.

Credit: C. Fishel

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