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Vivian Fuchs
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Explorer
    (February 11, 1908-November 11, 1999)
    Born in Freshwater, Isle of Wight, United Kingdom
    Geologist
    Director of the British Antarctic Survey (1958-73)
    Led the Commonwealth Trans-Antarctic Expedition, the first overland crossing of Antarctica (November 24, 1957-March 2, 1958)
    Wrote 'The Crossing of Antarctica' with Edmund Hillary
    Last name rhymes with 'books'
    He was nicknamed 'Bunny.'
    Another explorer said that Fuchs got his climbing experience 'among the roofs and towers of Cambridge' -- as a method of getting in and out after the gates were locked for curfew.
    In World War II, he volunteered to serve in East Africa, since he had learned Swahili while working at Olduvai Gorge under Louis Leakey; the Army, with bureaucratic logic, sent him to Ghana in West Africa, where Swahili was completely useless.
    Readers and reviewers complained that he revealed little of his personal insights and feelings in his account of the Antarctic crossing.
    Disappointingly, the claim that a newspaper headlined a story about his expedition 'Fuchs Off To Antarctica' is just an urban legend.
    Because his family refused to change their German surname when WWI broke out, he was denied entrance to Tonbridge school, despite acing the qualifying exams, with the headmaster saying he had given Fuschs' place to 'an English boy.'
    He was married to Joyce Connell for 53 years.
    His daughter Rosalind died of cerebral palsy at age seven.
    While visiting Kenya at age 74, he wrestled with a crocodile entangled in a fishing net.
    He said about the success of the Trans-Antarctic Expedition, 'There is no such thing as good luck. It's always good planning and management.'

Credit: C. Fishel


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