Amerigo Vespucci was born on March 9, 1454 in Florence, Italy.
He was a navigator, an explorer and a financier.
On his voyage in the service of Portugal (1501-1502) that departed from Lisbon, he discovered present-day Rio de Janeiro. Reaching the coast of Brazil, they sailed south along the coast of South America to the Rio de Janeiro bay. Believing he had discovered a new continent, he called South America the New World.
In 1507, America was named after him: Vespucci’s expeditions became known in Europe after two accounts attributed to him were published between 1502 and 1503. In 1507, Martin Waldseemüller (a German cartographer) produced a world map on which he named the new continent America after the feminine Latin version of Vespucci’s first name.
Amerigo Vespucci died in Seville, Spain, on February 22, 1512, aged 57.