The first man who ever climbed the Everest, the world's highest mountain, died on Thursday night, aged 88, after a few years of worsening health conditions, the New Zealand Prime Minister declared, quoted by France Presse. Hillary dies after a heart crisis in a hospital in Auckland. “Sir Ed spoke of himself as a simple New Zealander, of modest quality. In fact, he was a Colossus, a hero", the prime minister wrote in a press release.

Edmund Hillary climbed the Everest (8,849 meters) on May 29, 1953, along with Nepalese Tensing Norgay. The news broke into the world only upon their arrival back from the top, on June 2, the day Queen Elisabeth II mounted the throne. Hillary was dubbed a knight for his performance and received the Medal of the British Empire. He spent most of his life building schools and hospitals for the population in the Himalayans, repeatedly saying that this was his greatest accomplishment, not climbing the Everest.