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George Everest
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Scientist
    (July 4, 1790-December 1, 1866)
    Geographer and surveyor
    Chief assistant to William Lambton, Superintendent of the Great Trigonometrical Survey of India (1818-23)
    Succeeded Lambton as Superintendent (1823-43)
    Named Surveyor General of India (1830-43)
    Knighted (1861)
    The Royal Geographic Society named the world’s highest mountain after him (1865)
    There is a dispute over whether he was born in London or at the family estate in Wales.
    He did not discover* Mount Everest, measure its height, or even lay eyes on it during his time in India. (*Not even by the Eurocentric standard under which knowledge of the mountain by the native Asians doesn’t count.)
    His successor as Surveyor General proposed naming the mountain after him because it was ‘without any local name we could discover,’ thus ignoring the Nepalese name Sagarmatha and the Tibetan Chomolungma.
    His last name was pronounced Eev-rest, but the mountain ended up being pronounced Ever-est or Ev-rest.
    He contracted malaria while surveying in India (1820)
    Due to bureaucratic hassles in purchasing surveying instruments through government contracts, he set up and supervised a company in Calcutta to manufacture the equipment.
    He objected to naming Mount Everest after himself, partly on the grounds that he had nothing to do with its discovery, partly because he was concerned that his name could not be easily written or pronounced in Hindi.

Credit: C. Fishel


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