Bartolomeu Dias was the first European navigator to sail around the southern tip of South Africa. He also accompanied Vasco da Gama part of the way (until the Cape Verde Islands) on a 1498 expedition to India.
In 1450, Bartolomeu Dias was born in Portugal, but very little is known about his early years. He is famous for his expedition sponsored by King John II of Portugal to discover a route to the Indian Ocean and explore parts of Africa. In 1500, he was also a captain under Pedro Alvares, who sailed to India. During this voyage, Dias and his crew perished in a storm near the Cape of Good Hope.