Sir Ranulph Twisleton-Wykeham-Fiennes, 3rd Baronet, OBE (born 7 March 1944), better known as Ranulph (Ran) Fiennes, is a British adventurer and holder of several endurance records. He is also a prolific writer. Fiennes served in the British Army for eight years including a period on counter-insurgency service while attached to the army of the Sultanate of Oman. He later undertook numerous expeditions and was the first person to visit both the North and South Poles by surface means and the first to completely cross Antarctica on foot. In May 2009, at the age of 65, he climbed to the summit of Mount Everest. According to the Guinness Book of World Records he is the world's greatest living explorer. Fiennes has written numerous books about his army service and his expeditions as well as a book defending Robert Falcon Scott from modern revisionists.
Born UK 1944, just after his father was killed in the war.
Brought up in South Africa
Back UK, Eton College
Failed A Levels
Joined Royal Scots Greys (Tanks). Cold War
Joined SAS 1965/1966. Youngest Captain in the British Army
Fought Marxist Terrorists 1968-1970 and received the Sultans Bravery Medal from HM the Queen
1984-1990 Vice President of PR and Adviser for Western Europe to Chairman of Occidental Petroleum Corp.
Married childhood sweetheart Ginnie Pepper in 1970 and together they launched a series of record breaking expeditions that kept them ahead of their international rivals for three decades.
Some of these huge challenges include:
First to reach both Poles (with Charles Burton).
First to cross Antarctic and Arctic Ocean (with Charles Burton).
First to circumnavigate the world along its polar axis (with Charles Burton). 'This 3 year, 52 000 mile odyssey took intricate planning, 1900 sponsors, a 52 person team to handle, complex communications, meticulous planning and iron determination mixed with flexibility. The circumnavigation has never been successfully repeated.
Led the first hovercraft expedition up the longest river in the world (the Nile) in 1968/1969.
Achieved world record for unsupported northerly polar travel in 1990.
Led the team that discovered the lost city of Ubar on the Yemeni border in 1992 (after seven previous search expeditions over a 26 year period).
Achieved world first in 1992/1993 by completing the first unsupported crossing of the Antarctic Continent (with Mike Stroud). This was the longest unsupported polar journey in history.
In 2003, only 3½ months after a massive heart attack, 3 day coma and double bypass, Ranulph Fiennes (with Mike Stroud) achieved the first 7x7x7 (Seven marathons in only seven days on all seven continents).
March 2005, climbed Everest (Tibet-side) to within 300m of summit raising £2 million for the British Heart Foundations new research MRI scanner.
March 2007, Sir Ranulph climbed the North Face of the Eiger (with Kenton Cool and Ian Parnell) and raised £1.8 million for Marie Curie Cancer Care's Delivering Choice Programme
Winner of ITV Greatest Britons 2007 Sport Award (beating the 2 other main nominees Lewis Hamilton and Joe Calzaghe)
May 2008, climbed Everest (Nepal-side) to within 400m from summit raising £2.6m for Marie Curie Cancer Care Delivering Choice Programme
Marie Curie 2008 ‘Above and Beyond Award’ Winner
Successfully summitted Everest May 2009 with Thundu Sherpa making a total for Marie Curie of over £6.2m. The oldest Briton ever to summit.
French Parachute Wings 1968
Dhofar Campaign Medal 1968
Sultan of Oman's Bravery Medal 1970
Man of the Year 1982
Livingstone Gold Medal Royal Scottish Geographical Soc 1983
Gold Medal NY Explorers Club 1984
Described by Guiness Book of Records as "The World's Greatest Living Explorer" 1984
Fndr's Medal RGS 1984
The Polar Medal 1984 with Bar 1995 by HM the Queen (his wife Ginnie was first female recipient)
ITV Award for Event of the Decade 1990
Explorers Club (Br Chapter) Millennium Award for Navigation 2000
Oldie of the Year Award 2004
Hon DSc Loughborough Univ
Hon Dr: UCE 1995, Univ of Portsmouth 2000, Univ of Glasgow 2002, Univ of Sheffield 2005. Abertay University (Glasgow) 2007