Fridtjof Wedel-Jarlsberg Nansen was a explorer, scientist, diplomat, humanitarian and Nobel Peace Prize laureate. He led the team that made the first crossing of the Greenland interior in 1888, and won international fame after reaching a record northern latitude of 86°14′ during his North Pole expedition of 1893–96. His techniques of polar travel and his innovations in equipment and clothing influenced a generation of subsequent Arctic and Antarctic expeditions.
Robert Edwin Peary, Sr. was an American explorer who claimed to have led the first expedition, on April 6, 1909, to reach the geographic North Pole. Peary's claim was widely credited for most of the 20th century, rather than the competing claim by Frederick Cook who said he got there a year earlier. Both claims were widely debated in newspapers until 1913; modern historians generally think Cook did not reach the pole, and there are grave doubts that Peary did.