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Giovanni da Verrazzano
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Explorer
    (circa 1485-1528)
    Born in Val di Greve, Italy
    Sailed in the service of King Francis I of France
    Explored the North American coast between Florida and Newfoundland (1524)
    Captained two later voyages to Brazil (1527) and the Caribbean (1528)
    Little is known about his personal life.
    His first voyage to the New World was aborted when a violent storm sank two of his ships and damaged the remaining two (1523).
    He called his crew ‘a maritime mob.’
    When he sailed into the Pamlico Sound in North Carolina, he thought he had reached the Pacific Ocean, inspiring decades of inaccurate maps.
    Most of the names he bestowed on his discoveries were never adopted.
    His last name is frequently misspelled with only one ‘z,’ most notably on the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge in New York City.
    He was the first European to sight Cape Fear, New York Bay, Narragansett Bay, and Cape Cod.
    During his third voyage to the New World (1528), he was killed and eaten by the native Carib Indians on the island of Guadeloupe.
    He is the namesake for the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge connecting Staten Island and Brooklyn, the longest suspension bridge in the United States.

Credit: C. Fishel


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