United States – Barbara Hillary, First Black Woman To Reach North Pole & South Pole

Barbara Hillary was born in New York City on June 12, 1931, and raised in Harlem. She attended New School University in New York, going on to become a nurse.

Surviving lung cancer, she became interested in Arctic travel during her retirement. Raising over $25,000 to fund her expedition to the Arctic, on April 23, 2007, Barbara Hillary became the first known Black woman and oldest person (at age 75 years) to reach the North Pole. Five years later, she reached the South Pole on January 6, 2011, at the age of 79.