An explorer, soldier and conquistador, Francisco Pizarro was Born around 1474 in Trujillo, Spain. As a soldier, he served on the 1513 expedition of Vasco Núñez de Balboa, during which he discovered the Pacific Ocean.
Desirous of making his own discoveries and his own fortune, Pizarro formed a partnership with Diego de Almagro. They travelled to Peru in 1526 and then returned to get permission to claim the land for Spain. In 1531, their expedition—which included Pizarro’s three half-brothers—sailed from Panama. The next fall Pizarro entered the city of Cajamarca and took the Inca leader Atahuapla hostage. Despite having paid a ransom to spare his life, Atahuapla was killed in 1533. Pizarro then conquered Cuzco, another important Inca city, and founded the city of Lima, now the capital of Peru.
Pizarro’s rivalry with Almagro led to conflict in 1537. Almagro had taken over Cuzco after one of Pizarro’s half-brothers, Juan Pizarro, was killed during a revolt. Pizarro did not want Almagro to have the city, but was too old to fight himself so he sent his brothers to Cuzco to fight. They defeated Almagro and killed him afterward. In retaliation, Pizarro was assassinated in June of 1541 by one of Almagro’s followers.