Lawfuel – The death of Edmund Hillary in New Zealand, the conqueror of Everest, is followed by the death of one of the great adverturers, Steve Fossett, who has been pronounced legally dead by an Illinois judge.
Fossett’s wife petitioned for the legal declaration, and the judge said there was no reason to believe he intentionally disappeared.
The self-made business tycoon, who in 2002 became the first person to circle the world solo in a balloon, was last seen Sept. 3 after taking off in a single-engine plane from an airstrip near Yerington, Nev., heading toward Bishop, Calif. He was 63.”
Mr. Fossett made much of his fortune on the floor of the Chicago Board Options Exchange, had retired from his trading career a decade ago to pursue adventuring full time.
At 63, Mr. Fossett was perhaps best known for becoming the first person to fly around the world alone in a balloon, a challenge completed in 2002 after five failed attempts, including one that ended in a crash landing in a remote village in India, and one in which he plummeted some 29,000 feet into the Coral Sea after his balloon was shredded in severe weather, the Chicago Tribune reported.
In 2005 he set another world record as the first pilot to complete a solo unrefueled circumnavigation of the world—a trip that took 67 hours and became a nail- biting affair after a leak drained much of his spare oxygen and fuel.
He also set a record gliding more than 50,000 feet above the Andes Mountains, participated in the Iditarod dog sled race, swam the English Channel and skippered the vessel that set the world sailing record for fastest circumnavigation of the globe. He once swam the length of the Golden Gate Bridge, at night with no audience, just to see if he could.
Once, when asked by a reporter why he attempted such risky endeavors, he replied, “I have a very low threshold for boredom.”