Erikson was probably born in Iceland and grew up in Greenland. His father was Erik the Red, who had created colonies in Greenland. Eriksson is said to have visited North America long before anyone else in Europe did. According to Icelandic sagas (stories) he started a Viking settlement in Vinland. Many scholars think this was Newfoundland in Canada. After landing in North America and when he was going back to Greenland, he rescued a man in his crew who had sunk. From that moment on, he was called “Leif the Lucky”. He generally believed to be the first European to reach the North American continent nearly four centuries before Christopher Columbus arrived in 1492.
- "Leif Eriksson the Lucky". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 6 March 2011.