The New Student's Reference Work/Abruzzi, Duke of

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Abruzzi (ȧ-brōōt′sē) Duke of, known also as Prince Amadeo of Savoy, a member of the royal house of Italy and a distinguished explorer, aeronaut, sportsman and scientist, son of ex-King Amadeus of Spain, was born in 1873 in Madrid and educated in part at the Naval College in Leghorn. As a youth he travelled round the world, and in 1896 successfully ascended Mount St. Elias, in Alaska, whose ice-covered peak is over 18,000 feet in height. In 1899 the Duke set out from Christiania on an Arctic voyage in the Stella Polare, and wintered in Teplitz Bay, 81° 47′ N. There he organized a sledge party, to proceed toward the North Pole, but an accident to his ship prevented the Duke from accompanying it. It was, however, manned under the command of his chief officer, Captain Cagni, the expedition reaching the most northerly point attained up to that date, viz.: 86° 34′ N., or within 236 statute miles of the Pole. The narrative of the expedition is told in the Duke of Abruzzi's book, On the Polar Star in the Arctic Sea, published in 1903. The Duke's achievement beat that of Nansen in The Fram, in years 1893–94, the Norwegian explorer having in his sledge journey only reached 86° 4′ N., 96° E.