The three famous Viking leaders in history are Ragnar Lodbrok, Erik Thorvaldsson, also known as "Erik the Red," and Leif Eriksson. All three men are celebrated in Viking history and poetry.
Both Ragnar Lodbrok and "Erik the Red" are well known for their raids into foreign lands. Although Ragnar Lodbrok is best known for his invasions into England and France, he did not establish any lasting settlements. "Erik the Red" established a Viking settlement in Greenland, which lasted nearly 500 years. Leif Eriksson, the son of "Erik the Red," is regarded as the first European explorer to reach North America, five centuries before Christopher Columbus made his journey.