Reinhold Messner was born September 17, 1944 in South Tyrol, which lies in Italy. (The northern parts of Tyrol lie in Austria, however.) Pioneered mountaineering with his pure alpine style climbing, which was a reaction to the siege tactics most climbing expeditions used and still use.

The first ascent of Mount Everest without contained oxygen was made together with Peter Habeler of Austria; oxygen is of course always used, contrary to popular belief. He was also the first person to climb all 14 mountains in the world over 8000 meters (8000m = 26250 feet), all of which were climbed without additional contained oxygen, and many climbs were made solo. Climbing Gasherbrum I, 8068m, in 1984 together with Hans Kammerlander, they struck an entirely new route from the summit to the summit of neighbouring Gasherbrum II, 8035m, without descending below 7500 meters during the eight-day expedition. Several of Messner's climbing achievements have never been repeated, for instance his solo climb of the Rupal Face of Nanga Parbat.

It's been a few years since his last climbs, but Messner has recently been seen in various solo attempts on another scale. In 1990 he became the first person to cross Antarctica on foot. Today, Reinhold has quit climbing and now lives in the Italian alps with his family. He has published about 35 books on his experiences and why he climbs. Since 1999 he has been a member of the European Parliament for the environmental coalition.

He has opened a museum in Bozen, capital of Italian South Tyrol, which covers the life and experiences of Reinhold Messner.

The 8000 meter climbs and other selected climbs:

1970: Nanga Parbat
1975: Gasherbrum I
1978: Everest, Nanga Parbat solo ascent
1980: Everest solo ascent
1979: K2
1981: Shisha Pangma
1982: Kangchenjunga, Gasherbrum II and Broad Peak
1983: Cho Oyu
1984: Gasherbrum I, Gasherbrum II
1985: Annapurna, Dhaulagiri
1986: Makalu, Lhotse

Facts from different sources such as:, and various climbing websites.