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George Mallory

Biographical information

Medals OG
Gold 1
Silver 0
Bronze 0
Total 1
TypeCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameGeorge Herbert Leigh•Leigh-Mallory (Mallory-)
Used nameGeorge•Mallory
Other namesGeorge Mallory
Born18 June 1886 in Mobberley, Cheshire East, England (GBR)
Died8 June 1924 in North Face of Mount Everest, Tibet (CHN)
NOC Great Britain


George Mallory was the only man to go on all three Everest expeditions in 1921, 1922 and 1924. Prior to the 1921 reconnaissance expedition, Mallory was little known in mountaineering circles although he was acknowledged as a fine rock climber by the Alpine Club, of which he became a member in 1910.

Mallory was educated at Winchester College before winning a scholarship to Magdalene College, Cambridge. After taking his degree he became a schoolmaster. It was during his time at Winchester that a teacher took Mallory and some friends on a holiday to the Alps, and Mallory showed a great talent for climbing local peaks and was offered admission into the Alpine Club.

During World War I, Mallory served on the Western Front but, as soon as the hostilities ended, he returned to his beloved Alps and climbed largely in the Mount Blanc region. When he got the call to join the 1921 Everest party, he was by then a master at Charterhouse School, but quit to join the expedition. Mallory proved to be such a valuable member of the reconnaissance team that he was selected for the full expedition the following year and, along with Edward Norton and Howard Somervell, the three men reached a record 26,985 feet (8,225m), without the aid of oxygen.

Mallory was probably the most famous member of Charles Granville Bruce’s 1922 Everest expedition. It was during the 1924 expedition, however, also led by General Bruce originally, until he contracted malaria on his way to base camp and handed over command to Edward Norton, that Mallory lost his life.

Along with climbing partner Sandy Irvine, the two men were last seen about 800 feet (244m) from the summit of the world’s tallest mountain. Mallory’s body was found 75 years later by a party that set out for the purpose of the finding the remains of the two climbers. There is much doubt, speculation, and uncertainty as to whether the two men reached the summit before their demise.

The one legacy Mallory left were the immortal words “simply because it was there” when asked why he had the desire to climb Everest. They are words now uttered by mountaineers all over the world when their exploits are queried.


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1924 Winter Olympics Alpinism GBR George Mallory
Alpinism, Open (Olympic) Mixed team 1 Gold

Special Notes