Man Who Discovered Mighty Mississippi Was Almost a Lawyer

Hernando de Soto was a Spanish explorer and conquistador who participated in the conquests of Central America and Peru and discovered the Mississippi River.
Synopsis
Hernando de Soto was born c. 1500 in Jerez de los Caballeros, Spain. In the early 1530s, while on Francisco Pizarro's expedition, de Soto helped conquer Peru. In 1539 he set out for North America, where he discovered the Mississippi River. De Soto died of fever on May 21, 1542, in Ferriday, Louisiana. In his will, de Soto named Luis de Moscoso Alvarado the new leader of the expedition.

Early Life
Explorer and conquistador Hernando de Soto was born c. 1500 to a noble but poor family in Jerez de los Caballeros, Spain. He was raised at the family manor. A generous patron named Pedro Arias Dávila funded de Soto's education at the University of Salamanca. De Soto's family hoped he would become a lawyer, but he told his father he would rather explore the West Indies.

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