The Norwegian-American Finn Ronne (in Norwegian: Finn Rønne) (20 December 1899, Horten, Norway – 12 January 1980, Bethesda, Maryland) was a U.S. Antarctic explorer. His father, Martin Rønne, was a polar explorer and served in Roald Amundsen's successful expedition to the South Pole. Ronne got his education in engineering at Horten College.
In 1923 Finn Ronne immigrated to the U.S. and gained citizenship in 1929. After working at Westinghouse Electric Corporation for some years, he took part in two of Richard E. Byrd's expeditions to the South Pole, and in 1939 Ronne served as Byrd's executive officer helping discover one thousand miles of new coastline.
After serving several years in the United States Navy, gaining the rank of Captain, Ronne returned to Antarctica in the 1940s, with support of the American Geographical Society. The expedition from 1946 to 1948 mapped and explored the Weddell Sea coastline and set a number of polar records. Ronne covered 3,600 miles by ski and dog sled—more than any other explorer in history. His wife Edith Ronne accompanied him on this expedition, serving, in her own words, as ‘historian and correspondent for the North American Newspaper Alliance’. She and the chief pilot's wife Jennie Darlington were the first women to overwinter in Antarctica.
In the 1950s, the Navy organized Operation Deepfreeze to complete the mapping of Antarctica and establish centers for scientific research. Ronne became the scientific and military leader for a U.S. Weddell Sea base. During his lifetime he wrote several books on Antarctica and many scientific papers on Antarctic research. He received three medals and numerous military awards for service, for geographical exploration and for the advancement of science.
At his death in 1980, in Bethesda, Maryland, Ronne was buried in Section 2 of Arlington National Cemetery.
This text is based on the public domain biography of the Naval Historical Center.
- Antarctic Conquest (1949) (with L. Sprague de Camp (uncredited))
- Antarctic Command (1958)
- Ronne Expedition to Antarctica (1970)
- Antarctica, My Destiny (1979).
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