Pedro Alvares Cabral was born in 1467 into a wealthy family. He spent the early years of his life studying in the court of King Manuel in Portugal.
Since Pedro Alvares Cabral was born into wealth, he was afforded many opportunities during his childhood. He was able to study in the courts under King Manuel, and he became very well educated. Being from a noble family, he was given certain privileges; he was given the title of counselor to his highness, and he was given an allowance. While studying in the court, he became friends with Vasco da Gama, a Portuguese explorer. Da Gama is credited with being the first European to sail from Africa to India.
After da Gama's trip to India, he returned to the King and told of his voyage. King Manuel wanted another voyage to begin immediately; however, da Gama did not want to make the trip. Da Gama talked the king into sending Pedro Alvares Cabral. The king followed his advice and made Cabral the leader of this expedition and put him in charge of 13 ships. Cabral is credited with discovering Brazil, which at the time he called "Vera Cruz," which means "Island of the True Cross."