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Christopher Columbus (born between October 31, 1450 and October 30, 1451 - May 20, 1506) was a Genoese explorer, navigator, and colonizer, born in the Republic of Genoa (today part of Italy). Under the auspices of the Catholic Monarchs of Spain, he completed four voyages across the Atlantic Ocean. Those voyages, and his efforts to establish permanent settlements on the island of Hispaniola, initiated the Spanish colonization of the New World. Therefore, becoming known as the first explorer to discover America and to prove that the world was in fact round rather flat.