Danish arctic explorer and author. Born 1886, died 1957.
As a young man, Freuchen took part in the Danmark Expedition to NE Greenland in 1906-1908. In 1910 he founded, with Knud Rasmussen, a trading post at Thule. He ran the trading post personally, until 1919, during which time he participated in the first Thule Expedition.
In 1921-1924, he went along on the fifth Thule Expedition, to arctic Canada. His position in this expedition was as biologist and cartographer. In 1924, Freuchen settled in the United States of America, though he still set off on numerous arctic expeditions from his new home.
Freuchen's extensive oeuvre comprises travelogues; books on Greenland; books on the Inuit; books on oceanography; fiction; and autobiography (notably Min grønlandske Ungdom, "My youth in Greenland", 1936). Throughout his writings, one obtains a clear sense of Freuchen's unfailing interest in and devotion to the arctic peoples.
In 1932, Peter Freuchen appeared in the film Eskimo, from a script by himself. The film made him world famous, and in his declining years, he was something of a living legend - not least in 1956, when he participated in and won the $64,000 Question game show on American television, by virtue of his encyclopedic knowledge of the world's oceans.
Peter Freuchen died in 1957 and was cremated. His ashes were spread on Dundas Mountain near Thule.