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Francisco Pizarro Born 1476 Died 154 Francisco Pizarro was born in about 1476 in Trujillo a small town near Caceres Spain The illegitimate son of a Spanish captain he spent his childhood with his grandparents in one of Spains poorest regions He apparently never learned to read or write The conquest of Peru by an obscure adventurer is one of the most dramatic episodes in the history of the New World Until he was nearly 50 years old Francisco Pizarro serving as a minor Spanish official on the Isthmus of Panama had nothing to show for years of toil and peril but a small holding of land Little more than a decade later he had conquered the fabulously wealthy empire of the Incas and had bestowed on Spain the richest of its American possessions He also founded the city of Lima now the capital of Peru Pizarro traveled to the Caribbean island of Hispaniola in 1502 with the governor of that Spanish colony He took part in an expedition to Colombia in 1510 and three years later he accompanied Vasco Nunez de Balboa in a journey that ended in the discovery of the Pacific Ocean From 1519 to 1523 he served as mayor of the town of Panama In 1523 hearing of a vast and wealthy Indian empire to the south Pizarro enlisted the help of two friends to form an expedition to explore and conquer the land A soldier named Diego de Almagro provided the equipment and the vicar of Panama Hernando de Luque furnished the funds A first expedition resulted in disaster after two years of suffering and hardship When a second expedition in 1526 fared little better Pizarro sent Almagro back to Panama for reinforcements He and part of the group remained on an island Instead of sending help the governor of Panama sent vessels to bring back
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