He achieved the first recorded European contact with the eastern coastline of Australia and the Hawaiian Islands, and the first recorded circumnavigation of New Zealand.
Cook joined the British merchant navy as a teenager and joined the Royal Navy in 1755. Sailed thousands of miles across largely uncharted areas of the globe. He mapped lands from New Zealand to Hawaii in the Pacific Ocean.
Cook was attacked and killed in 1779 during his third exploratory voyage in the Pacific while attempting to kidnap the Island of Hawaii’s monarch, in order to reclaim a cutter stolen from one of his ships.