Vilhjalmur Stefansson, anthropologist, prolific author, dauntless explorer, courageous ambassador of Canada's north. In 1912 and again in 1918 Stefansson came out of the Arctic, after being considered dead, to find himself an international hero: interviewed, feted and famous on three continents. The tall young explorer had captured the imagination of people everywhere. Famous Arctic experts had said it was impossible to travel over the sea ice without supplies, to live only by hunting. Whaling captains, with years of experience in the northern seas, agreed. Even Eskimos refused to accompany Stefansson on his "suicide trip". Nevertheless, with complete faith in his own theories, he set off into Canada's uncharted Arctic regions. For six months there was only silence from the north; Stefansson was given up for dead. Then news of his return burst upon the world. He came back in triumph, with vast stretches of unknown land explored and mapped, five new islands discovered and named, a living proof of man's ability to live, hunt and travel on the sea ice. Stefansson made headlines around the world; with publication of his own story, he became an international celebrity. Today, 26 books, 400 articles, innumerable lectures and interviews later, he is renowned as the man who found the north "friendly". The image of the valiant and indomitable explorer still captures the imagination of the old -- stirs the blood of the young. Vilhjalmur Stefansson -- fearless explorer, Arctic hero, a living legend.
Library and Archives Canada, Mikan no. 205928