Tenzing Norgay (1914-1986), a Nepalese Sherpa, reached the summit of Mount Everest with Edmund Hillary on May 29, 1953, with the pair becoming the first people to stand on top of the world. Tenzing, the 11th of a family with 13 children grew up in the Khumbu region in the shadow of Mount Everest.
In 1935 at age 20 Tenzing joined his first Everest expedition, a reconnaissance of the region led by Eric Shipton, and worked as a porter on three other Everest expeditions. In 1947 Tenzing was part of a group attempting to climb Mount Everest from the north but failed due to bad weather. In 1952 he worked as a Sherpa climber on a couple Swiss expeditions that made serious attempts on Everest from its Nepal side, including what became today's standard South Col route. On the spring attempt, Tenzing reached 28,200 feet (8,600 meters) with Raymond Lambert, the record highest elevation reached at that time.
The following year, 1953, saw Tenzing on his seventh Everest expedition with a large British group led by John Hunt. He was paired with New Zealand climber Edmund Hillary. They made the team's second summit attempt on May 29, climbing from a high camp past the South Summit, surmounting the Hillary Step, a 40-foot-high cliff, and scrambled up the final slopes, reaching the summit together at 11:30 a.m. He later ran trekking adventures and was an ambassador of Sherpa culture. Tenzing Norgay died at age 71 in 1986.