Martin Alonso Pinzón

Spanish Navigator

Born: c. 1441

Died: 1493

Martin Pinzón captained the Pinta on Christopher Columbus’ first voyage to America. He was part owner of the Nina and Pinta and helped to prepare them for the voyage. His brother, Francisco Pinzón, served as his Pilot for the voyage.

Martin’s suggestion to change course brought the fleet to landfall in the Bahamas on October 12, 1492. Against orders, he left the fleet near Cuba to search for gold and spices by himself, but rejoined Columbus a few months later. Martin’s ship again separated from Columbus on the return voyage, but this time did nor try to reconnect with the rest of Columbus’ fleet, but instead headed straight back to Spain with the hope of reaching Spain first with the news of the extraordinary good news of the expedition and their discoveries.

Despite the brother’s efforts, Columbus beat the Pinzón's home, immortalizing Martin Pinzón in history for his disloyalty. He died soon after his return to Spain, possibility from syphilis contrived from native peoples he encountered in the New World.

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