Cook, James (1728–1779)

James Cook was an English navigator and explorer who led three celebrated expeditions to the Pacific Ocean (1768–1771; 1772–1775; 1776–1780), during which he charted the coast of New Zealand (1770), showed that if there were a great southern continent it could not be so large as was commonly supposed, and discovered the Sandwich Islands. He died in an attack by Hawaiian natives.