The Beast's namesake passes on.
WELLINGTON, New Zealand -- Edmund Hillary once expressed surprise that it was he --"an ordinary person with ordinary qualities" -- who became the first man to conquer the world's tallest peak.
He spent the rest of his life telling the story of the climb up Mount Everest that made him one of the 20th century's best-known adventurers. But he maintained his reputation for humbleness, while working to aid the impoverished people of Nepal.
Hillary died at Auckland Hospital about 9 a.m. Friday from a heart attack, said a statement from the Auckland District Health Board. Though ailing in his later years, he remained active.