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Cook, Frederick Albert, 1865-1940



  • Existence: 1865 - 1940


Frederick Albert Cook was born on June 10, 1865, in Sullivan County, NY. He received his M.D. from Columbia University in 1890. Cook was the surgeon on Robert Peary's 1891–1892, Arctic expedition, and on the Belgian Antarctic Expedition of 1897–1899, led by Adrien de Gerlache. As leader of an expedition to Mt. McKinley in 1903-1906, he claimed the first ascent of the Alaska peak. His most controversial expedition was the 1908 discovery of the North Pole. His claim was rejected first by scientists in Copenhagen, and Cook's reputation as an explorer was ruined permanently. Cook spent the next few years defending his claim and attempting to sue writers who claimed that he had faked the trip. In 1922 he became involved in the Texas oil business. In 1923, he was convicted of using the mail to defraud by signing mailers which overstated the oil discovery prospects of his company, and was imprisoned until 1930. Cook died on August 5, 1940.

Found in 2 Collections and/or Records:

Frederick Cook papers

Identifier: Mss-127
Stefansson Mss-127
Date(s): 1894 to 1993

Frederick Albert Cook (1865-1940), Arctic explorer and physician. Consist of correspondence, articles, newspaper clippings, and photographs relating to his career as an Arctic explorer.

Samuel J. McCracken scrapbook on Cook's North Pole claim

Identifier: Mss-287
Stefansson Mss-287
Date(s): 1907-1932; 1983; 1994
Content Description Scrapbook compiled by Samuel James McCracken, Frederick Cook's secretary. The book compiles letters, newspaper clippings, articles, and flyers documenting McCracken's attempts to defend Cook's claim that he reached the North Pole. The scrapbook details the trials and tribulations endured by McCracken and the lengths he went to in order to set the record straight. Some additional correspondence with Cook and other people, as well as some clippings, a cartoon of McCracken and correspondence...
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