Lincoln Ellsworth (May 12, 1880 – May 26, 1951) was an polar explorer from the United States.
He was born on May 12, 1880 to James Ellsworth and Eva Frances Butler in Chicago, Illinois. He also lived in Hudson, Ohio as a child.
Lincoln Ellsworth's father, James, a wealthy coal man from the United States, spent US$100,000 to fund Roald Amundsen's 1925 attempt to fly from Svalbard to the North Pole. The craft were forced down onto the ice short of their goal, and the explorers spent 30 days trapped on the surface.
Learn more about Lincoln Ellsworth. In 1926, Ellsworth accompanied Amundsen on his second effort to fly over the Pole in the airship Norge, designed and piloted by the Italian engineer Umberto Nobile, in a flight from Svalbard to Alaska. On May 12, the Geographic North Pole was sighted. This was the first undisputed sighting of the area.
Ellsworth made four expeditions to Antarctica between 1933 and 1939, using as his aircraft transporter and base a former Norwegian herring boat that he named Wyatt Earp after his hero.
On November 23, 1935, Ellsworth discovered the Ellsworth Mountains of Antarctica when he made a trans-Antarctic flight from Dundee Island to the Ross Ice Shelf. He gave the descriptive name Sentinel Range, which was later named for the northern half of the Ellsworth Mountains. During the flight, his aircraft ran out of fuel, forcing a landing near the Little America camp established by Richard Byrd.
Because of a faulty radio, he and his pilot, Herbert Hollick-Kenyon, were unable to notify authorities about the landing. The two men were declared missing, and the British research ship Discovery sailed from New Zealand on a search mission. The two men were discovered Jan. 16, 1936, after almost two months alone at Little America. They returned to New York City on April 6, and their support ship, the MS Wyatt Earp, arrived separately two weeks later.
In 1927, the Boy Scouts of America made Ellsworth an Honorary Scout, a new category of Scout created that same year. This distinction was given to "American citizens whose achievements in outdoor activity, exploration and worthwhile adventure are of such an exceptional character as to capture the imagination of boys...". The other eighteen men who were awarded this distinction were: Roy Chapman Andrews; Robert Bartlett; Frederick Russell Burnham; Richard E. Byrd; George Kruck Cherrie; James L. Clark; Merian C. Cooper; Louis Agassiz Fuertes; George Bird Grinnell; Charles A. Lindbergh; Donald Baxter MacMillan; Clifford H. Pope; George Palmer Putnam; Kermit Roosevelt; Carl Rungius; Stewart Edward White; Orville Wright. The Boy Scout's Book of True Adventure, Fourteen Honorary Scouts, published by G. P. Putnam's Sons in New York in 1931 includes an essay "The First Crossing of the Polar Sea" by Lincoln Ellsworth. The United States Postal Service once produced a stamp with his picture. To this day, Hudson Ohio's high school teams are named "The Explorers" after Ellsworth.
The Antarctic base Ellsworth Station was named after him.
Mount Ellsworth and Lake Ellsworth, both in Antarctica, are also named after him.