Cortés, Hernán or Cortez, Hernando (1485-1547), Spanish explorer and conqueror of the Aztec Empire of Mexico. Cortés was born in Medellín, Extremadura. He studied law at the University of Salamanca, but cut short his university career in 1501 and decided to try his fortune in the New World. He sailed for Santo Domingo in the spring of 1504. In 1511 he joined the Spanish soldier and administrator Diego Velázquez in the conquest of Cuba, and subsequently became alcalde (mayor) of Santiago de Cuba. In 1518 he persuaded Velázquez, who had beco1me gover…
- Hernando Cortéz
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