Giovanni da Verrazzano explored the Lesser Antilles, the Bahamas, Brazil and the east coast of North America between Florida and Canada. He made his first journey to the New World in 1524.
Funded by the king of France, Verrazzano sailed to the New World on Jan. 17, 1524. He first sighted land at Cape Fear, N.C. After sailing south and exploring the coast to Florida, he then sailed north, encountering New York Harbor and the New England coast. He returned to France in July of that year.
Verrazzano made a second voyage in 1527, during which he explored the coast of Brazil. His final voyage took place in 1528, when he sailed to the Caribbean, exploring the Bahamas and the Lesser Antilles. He died on the island of Guadeloupe in the Lesser Antilles, a victim of cannibals.