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An Italian explorer responsible for the European discovery of America in 1492. He had sailed across the Atlantic Ocean from Spain, under the patronage of the king and queen, Ferdinand and Isabella, hoping to find a westward route to India. His ships were the Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria. Columbus made four voyages to the New World, visiting the Bahamas, Cuba, Hispaniola, Puerto Rico, Jamaica, Trinidad, Venezuela, and the coast of Central America.