Verrazzano, Giovanni da biographical name
(born 1485, Tuscany, Italydied 1528, Lesser Antilles) Italian navigator and explorer for France. Educated in Florence, he moved to Dieppe, France, where he entered the maritime service. In 1524 he was sent to find a westward passage to Asia and reached North America. He explored the eastern coast from Cape Fear northward and became the first European to explore the sites of present-day New York Harbor and Narragansett Bay. He sailed along the coast to Newfoundland, then returned to France. He later led expeditions to Brazil (1527) and to the Caribbean, where he was killed and eaten by cannibals.
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