By Fredrik Meyer
Leif was born about 980, no one knows where exactly, but most expert’s thinks he was born in Iceland. Leif’s father “Erik the Red” discovered Greenland. In 986 Erik moved to Greenland together with his family and about 400 other settlers. Leif was around 9 years old at the time.
Leif became a famous Viking leader and explorer. He was big handsome, strong and a good navigator. The Vikings admired his wisdom and patience. His greatest achievement was discovering North America.
He certainly was a hero. He sailed through icy waters and freezing weather in open longships to explore and find new land.
Leif set out on his most important journey in 1000 or 1001, only 20 years old. When he found North America he called it Vinland. He thought it was the richest land he had ever seen.
He hurried home to tell his people about this rich land, but when he came home to Greenland he learned that his father had become sick. He had to take over his father’s land and became the leader of Greenland. Many Vikings left to form colonies in Vinland, but Leif never went back. He got married, had children and stayed at his farm in Greenland.
It is said that in one of his travels Leif met the king of Norway. The king asked Leif to tell other people about Christianity. Leif brought a priest to Greenland and built a church. Leif’s friends and most of his family became Christians.
Experts believe that Leif died in 1025, he was around 45 years old at the time.