Maurice Herzog (1919–2012) was one of the foremost mountaineers in history. He gained international fame in 1950 as the leader of the expedition that summited Annapurna I, the first eight-thousand-meter peak ever climbed by man. Born in France, Herzog distinguished himself in World War II, winning the Legion d'Honneur and Croix de Guerre, two of his nation's highest military honors. After the war, he took to adventuring, where he found his calling climbing the highest mountains in the world. After leading the Annapurna expedition, which cost him his toes and most of his fingers, he dictated his account of the experience from his hospital bed. His mountaineering days finished, Herzog turned to politics, serving his country as a minister of sport.
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