Quiet Conqueror

In may 1996, eight climbers on Mt. Everest were killed during a storm, among them two New Zealanders. As TIME's correspondent in Auckland, I was sent to interview their families and friends — and Sir Edmund Hillary. I thought it would be hard to track him down; that he was probably living in some remote rural area where he could be left in peace. But there he was in the Auckland phone book: "Hillary, Sir Edmund, 278A Remuera Rd." He didn't mind the intrusion, and wasn't too busy to talk to a young...

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