Paul-Émile Victor

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Paul-Émile Victor
Pev portrait.png
Paul Eugène Victor

(1907-06-28)28 June 1907
Died7 March 1995(1995-03-07) (aged 87)
EducationÉcole Centrale de Lyon
Occupation(s)ethnologist and explorer
SpouseÉliane Victor
ChildrenJean-Christophe Victor

Paul-Émile Victor (born Paul Eugène Victor; 28 June 1907 – 7 March 1995)[1] was a French ethnologist and explorer.

Victor was born in Geneva, Switzerland to French Jewish parents of Bohemian and Polish descent. He graduated from École Centrale de Lyon in 1928. In 1931, he learned how to fly with his instructor and friend, Claude de Cambronne. In 1936, he led an expedition traversing Greenland by dog-sled. Victor, Robert Gessain, Michel Perez, and Eigil Knuth completed the 825 km from Christianshåb in the west to Angmagssalik in the east in 44 days.[2] During World War II, he engaged himself in the US Air Forces. After the War, he initiated the Expéditions polaires françaises to organize French polar expeditions. He died in 1995 on Bora Bora, to which he had retired in 1977.

A survey led by Victor in 1951 concluded that, under the ice sheet, Greenland is composed of three large islands.[3] In 1952 he was awarded the Patron's Medal by the Royal Geographical Society of London for the work.[4]

Mount Victor, in the Belgica Mountains of Antarctica, is named for him.

His son, Jean-Christophe Victor, stars in the weekly geopolitical show Le dessous des cartes on Arte until December 2016.


  1. ^ Reuters (March 9, 1995). "Paul-Emile Victor, 87, Explorer Who Wrote About Polar Regions". The New York Times. {{cite news}}: |author= has generic name (help)
  2. ^ Victor, Paul-Émile (1960). Les explorations au XXe siècle. Paris: Larousse. pp. 124f. OCLC 1007278806.
  3. ^ "Find Greenland Icecap Bridges Three Islands", Ellensburg Daily Record, Oct 24, 1951, p6, accessed 2012-05-13
  4. ^ "List of Past Gold Medal Winners" (PDF). Royal Geographical Society. Retrieved 24 August 2015.

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