Who was Hiram Bingham? (November 19, 1875 – June 6, 1956)


Hiram Bingham (November 19, 1875 – June 6, 1956), American educator, explorer, and legislator, known for his expeditions to South America. Bingham’s many books include Lost City of the Incas (1948 A.D), considered his most important work. In 1948 A.D the road to Machu Picchu was named the Hiram Bingham Highway in his honor. Bingham is the son of American missionary Hiram Bingham, who founded the first Protestant mission in Hawaii.

Bingham was born in Honolulu, Hawaii. Hiram Bingham was educated at Yale and Harvard universities and at the University of California. He taught history at Harvard, Princeton, and Yale universities. In 1906 A.D and 1907 A.D Bingham explored the route taken across Venezuela and Colombia in the early 1800 A.D by Venezuelan general Simón Bolívar. In 1908 A.D and 1909 A.D Bingham explored an old Spanish trade route from Buenos Aires, Argentina, to Lima, Peru. As director of the Yale Peruvian Expedition in 1911 A.D, Bingham discovered the ruins of the ancient Inca city of Machu Picchu and located Vitcos, the last Inca capital.

From 1912 A.D to 1915 A.D he further explored the Inca lands for Yale University and the National Geographic Society. During World War I (1914 A.D -1918 A.D) Bingham was commander of the Aviation Instruction Center at Issoudun, France. A member of the Republican party in the United States, Bingham served as lieutenant governor of Connecticut from 1923 A.D to 1924 A.D and as governor in 1925 A.D. From 1925 A.D to 1933 A.D he was a U.S. senator for the state of Connecticut.On June 6,1956 A.D, Bingham died at his Washington, D.C. home. Hiram Bingham was interred at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.

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