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Christopher Columbus (Cristoforo Colombo; Cristóbal Colón; Cristóvão Colombo) born between October 31, 1450 and October 30, 1451 – 20 May 1506) was an Italian explorer, navigator, and colonizer, born in the Republic of Genoa, in what is today northwestern Italy. Under the auspices of the Catholic Monarchs of Spain, he completed four voyages across the Atlantic Ocean that led to general European awareness of the American continents. Those voyages, and his efforts to establish permanent settlements on the island of Hispaniola, initiated the Spanish colonization of the New World. [ . . . More]