Died: June 8, 1924
High of His Life: This guy was a fantastic explorer. After serving in World War 1 he became an avid climber and has the tenuous title of the first “real” ascent of Mt. Everest.
Low of His Life: Well, he never made it to the top…or maybe he did. We’re not sure. On June 8 (or maybe 9) Mallory and his climbing partner died only a few meters from the summit of Everest. It’s unclear whether they were going up or coming down. What is true, however, is that no one found them for 75 years! That’s right, this guy was frozen on the side of the world’s tallest mountain until 1999. It is theorized that these two made the summit and were traveling back down because Mallory’s daughter claims that he always carried a photograph of his wife on his person when he climbed. Even though his clothing and all of his tools were found in almost perfect (though frozen) condition, there was no trace of the photograph. It is theorized therefore that he made the summit, deposited the photograph there (as he promised his wife he would do), and was on his way back down. No photograph has ever been found at the top of Everest. Perhaps sadder still is the fact that his own son doesn’t believe he made it. John Mallory said ”To me the only way you achieve a summit is to come back alive. The job is only half done if you don’t get down again.” Nice legacy, Dad.
Who Sees Him as a Hero: Mountain climbers, adventurers, thrill seekers, explorers, and Ötzi the Iceman