John Cabot was born as Giovanni Caboto in Italy, but moved to England, in 1495, where he represented England as an explorer and navigator. He lived from 1450-1499.
In 1497, he sailed to Canada, at the request of King Henry VII of England on the ship "Matthew." He landed on June 24, 1497, and claimed land for England, along with one of his three sons, Sebastian Cabot, who was also on the trip. He then explored the Canada coastline where he named many of the islands. He was sent to search for a Northwest passage that would lead sailors across North America and into Asia. However, he could not find the passageway and was unsuccessful. He thought that he reached northeastern Asia on this passage, however.
Cabot went out on his second expedition, which was much larger, in 1498. It is unknown where he went on this expedition and it is thought that he may have reached America. Cabot was the first navigator and explorer who was able to claim land for Britain. He died, in 1499.
Cabot was the son of a spice merchant. He first learned to sail from the Italian seamen and merchants that he encountered through is father's profession. He left Venice as a debtor in November of 1488 and ended up in England because of Christopher Columbus, who was a big inspiration to Cabot.