Leif Erikson


Leif Erikson (also spelled Leif Eriksson, Old Norse Leifr Eiríksson), nicknamed Leif 'the Lucky', was a Norse Viking who is best known for arguably being the first European to have set foot on North American soil along with his crew c. 1000 CE. Probably born in Iceland around 970-980 CE, Leif was the son of the famous Erik the Red who set up the first Viking settlement in Greenland in the late 980s CE. After his father's death just after 1000 CE, Leif succeeded him as chieftain of Greenland, and because his son Thorkel had succeeded him by 1025 CE it is fair to assume Leif had died by then, though it is unsure exactly when.

More about: Leif Erikson


  • c. 790 - c. 1100
    The Viking Age.
  • c. 970 - c. 1030
    Approximate time-indication of the Vikings' expeditions to Vinland (Newfoundland, North America).
  • c. 970 - c. 980
    Leif Erikson is born somewhere around this time, probably at Eiríksstaðir in Breidafjord, Iceland.
  • 980 - 1020
    Radiocarbon dates given for the remains of the Viking settlement at L'Anse aux Meadows (Newfoundland, Canada).
  • c. 985
    Erik the Red founds the Norse Eastern Settlement in Greenland & moves there with his family, including his son Leif Erikson.
  • c. 1003
    Leif Erikson succeeds his father (now deceased) as paramount chief of Greenland. .
  • 1025
    Leif Erikson's son Thorkel succeeds him as chieftain of Greenland; presumably, Leif has died by this time. .
  • c. 1220 - c. 1280
    The Saga of the Greenlanders & Erik the Red's Saga, together known as the Vinland Sagas but written independently, are composed in Iceland.