“Sir Ed described himself as an average New Zealander with modest abilities. In reality, he was a colossus. He was an heroic figure who not only ‘knocked off’ Everest but lived a life of determination, humility, and generosity,” the New Zealand Prime Minster, Helen Clark said in a statement today.
Sir Edmund Hillary has died. Jan Morris described the heroism shown by Hillary and Tenzing Norgay in Time thusly, “I thought their brand of heroism — the heroism of example, the heroism of debts repaid and causes sustained — far more inspiring than the gung-ho kind.
You can read his profile in the Gallery of Heroes.