Francisco Pizarro Biography

(Spanish conquistador)

Birthday: March 16, 1478 (Pisces)

Born In: Trujillo, Spain

Francisco Pizarro Gonzalez was a Spanish conquistador who became famous by conquering the Incan Empire. Born as the illegitimate child of a poor woman, he received no education and expected nothing in inheritance. He became a soldier and when he heard of the riches of the New World, he believed he could change his fortunes by going there and looting a vast fortune for himself. After learning that Peru was a prosperous region under the Incan Empire, he undertook two expeditions with navigator Diego de Almagro and a priest Hernando de Luque in 1524 and 1526 to conquer the empire. These expeditions failed to produce any fruitful results owing to hostile natives, bad weather and scarcity of food. On his third expedition he founded the first Spanish settlement in Peru at the San Miguel de Piura. The expedition came to an official end after successfully conquering Cuzco, the Incan capital. Pretty soon he founded the city of Lima, undoubtedly his biggest achievement. By this time Almagro and Pizarro had become bitter rivals and their quarrels led to the Battle of Las Salinas following which Almagro was executed. However, Almagro’s son avenged his father’s death by killing Pizarro in his castle at Lima

Quick Facts

Spanish Celebrities Born In March

Also Known As: Francisco Pizarro González

Died At Age: 63


Spouse/Ex-: N de Trujillo

father: Gonzalo Pizarro y Rodríguez

mother: Francisca González Mateos

siblings: Francisco Martín de Alcántara, Gonzalo Pizarro, Hernando Pizarro, Ines Pizarro y de Vargas, Isabel Pizarro y de Vargas, Juan Pizarro

children: Francisco

Born Country: Spain

Military Leaders Spanish Men

Died on: June 26, 1541

place of death: Lima, Peru

Cause of Death: Assassination

  • 1

    Where did Francisco Pizarro explore?

    Francisco Pizarro explored South America, particularly the regions that are now part of modern-day Peru and Ecuador.

  • 2

    What was Francisco Pizarro's role in the conquest of the Inca Empire?

    Francisco Pizarro led the Spanish conquest of the Inca Empire, resulting in the downfall of the Inca civilization and the establishment of Spanish colonial rule in the region.

  • 3

    What was the significance of Francisco Pizarro's capture of the Inca ruler Atahualpa?

    The capture of Atahualpa by Francisco Pizarro was significant as it weakened the Inca resistance and allowed the Spanish to assert control over the Inca Empire more effectively.

  • 4

    How did Francisco Pizarro meet his end?

    Francisco Pizarro was assassinated in 1541 by supporters of his rival, Diego de Almagro, during a power struggle in the Spanish colony of Peru.

  • 5

    What impact did Francisco Pizarro have on the indigenous peoples of South America?

    Francisco Pizarro's conquest and colonization of South America had a profound impact on the indigenous peoples, leading to the decimation of populations, destruction of cultures, and the imposition of Spanish rule in the region.

Childhood & Early Life
Pizarro was born as an illegitimate child in Trujillo, Spain, in 1478. His mother’s name was Francisca González Mateos and his father, Gonzalo Pizarro Rodríguez de Aguilar was an infantry colonel.
Pizarro never got the chance to go to school and grew up as an illiterate animal tender and herder.
Continue Reading Below
Later Life
Pizarro set sail in Alonzo de Ojeda's expedition to the Gulf of Uraba in the New World in 1509. After its failure he joined the fleet of Martin Fernandez de Enciso in 1513.
In 1514, Pedrarias Davila succeeded Vasco Nunez de Balboa as the governor of Castilla de Oro. Pizarro became a close associate of the governor over the next five years and arrested Balboa on the governor's order. For his loyalty, Pizarro was made the mayor and magistrate of the recently founded Panama City for four years.
In 1524, he teamed up with navigator Diego de Almagro and a priest Hernando de Luque to explore the western South America with 80 men and 40 horses. The first expedition turned out to be a failure as they encountered bad weather, scarcity of food and hostile natives.
In 1526, they went on a second expedition, with two ships carrying 160 men and several horses. On reaching the San Juan river, Almagro headed back to Panama for reinforcements and Bartolome Ruiz, the main pilot kept heading south.
Ruiz captured a raft laden with textiles, ceramic objects and gold and silver pieces. He went back north to Pizarro and told him about the discovery. Rejuvenated with the news and thrilled by the reinforcements, Pizarro went south but did not advance to the mainland as the natives looked dangerous and threatening.
Almagro returned to Panama to gather more reinforcements but the new governor, Pedro de los Rios called off the expedition after the second unsuccessful trial. He sent two ships commanded by Juan Tafur to bring back all the men at once.
All but Pizarro and 13 others (The Famous Thirteen) came back to Panama. These men remained at the La Isla Gorgona for seven months. The governor sent one more ship to bring Pizarro back, but Almagro and Luque boarded the ship to join Pizarro and further their expedition.
They reached Tumbes in 1528 and saw the incredible riches the place was bestowed with. They planned to go back to Panama and prepare for the final expedition of conquest. Two native boys, Felipillo and Martinillo, came along to learn their language.
The governor refused the third expedition to Panama. So Pizarro went to Spain and appealed to King Charles I himself. The king expressed his support but had to leave for Italy. In his absence, Queen Isabel signed the Capitulacion de Toledo in July 1529.
Continue Reading Below
One condition in the grant was that Pizarro would establish a force of 250-sufficiently equipped men in six months. Pizarro went to Trujillo to ask his half-brothers and other men to accompany him in his expedition.
The final expedition left in December 1530 with three ships, 180 men and 27 horses. He was also accompanied by Francisco de Orellana and Hernando, Juan and Gonzalo Pizarro.
On the way to Tumbes, Pizarro was forced to confront the Punian natives and suffered losses. Soon Hernando se Sato joined the expedition with a 100 volunteers and horses. After reaching Tumbes, they saw it was ransacked.
In search of a safe place, they headed into the interior land in 1532 and established San Miguel de Piura, the first Spanish settlement in Peru. Pizarro headed along with 200 men to Zaran. De Sato was dispatched to a Peruvian garrison at Caxas and he came back a week later with an envoy from the Inca, Atahualpa.
Atahualpa was asked to pay tribute to the Emperor Charles but he refused. Then Pizarro and his forces attacked the 6000 strong Inca army. Atahualpa was taken captive, and despite having paid a ransom to spare his life, he was executed in 1533. This move angered a lot of people including the king, Pizarro and de Sato.
In 1534, Jauja in the Mantaro Valley was established as Peru's provisional capital. However it was too far from the sea to serve as the Spanish capital of Peru. Thus Pizarro founded the city of Lima as the new capital of Peru in 1535.
During the late 1530s, relations between Pizarro and Almagro became strained over disputes regarding their claims in the new Spanish province. While the king of Spain had awarded the Governorate of New Toledo to Almagro and the Governorate of New Castile to Pizarro, both the men wanted to claim the city of Cuzco.
These disputes between the former allies culminated in the Battle of Las Salinas in 1538. Pizarro’s forces won the battle and captured Almagro who was later executed.
Personal Life & Legacy
Pizarro married N de Trujillo and had a son named Francisco.
On 26 June 1541, Francisco Pizarro was assassinated in his Lima castle by 20 heavily armed supporters of Diego Almagro II, the son of Diego de Almagro. Pizarro killed two assailants before he was brutally stabbed to death. While dying he designed a cross with his own blood.
Facts About Francisco Pizarro

Francisco Pizarro was known for his distinctive facial scar, which he acquired during a battle early in his military career. This scar became a notable feature of his appearance and added to his unique persona.

Pizarro had a reputation for being extremely superstitious and often relied on omens and signs before making important decisions. This belief in supernatural guidance played a role in his conquest of the Inca Empire.

Despite his lack of formal education, Pizarro had a natural talent for strategy and leadership on the battlefield. His ability to outmaneuver and outwit his opponents was a key factor in his successful conquests in South America.

Pizarro had a keen interest in the culture and customs of the indigenous peoples he encountered during his expeditions. He was known to have a deep respect for the Inca civilization and its achievements, even as he sought to conquer and exploit their lands.

Pizarro was a skilled negotiator and diplomat, able to navigate complex political situations and forge alliances with local tribes and factions to further his goals. His ability to win over key allies played a crucial role in his ultimate success in establishing Spanish dominance in the Andes.

See the events in life of Francisco Pizarro in Chronological Order

How To Cite

Article Title
- Francisco Pizarro Biography
- Editors,

People Also Viewed

El Cid Biography
El Cid
Francisco Franco Biography
Francisco Franco
Mao Zedong Biography
Mao Zedong
Ivan Konev Biography
Ivan Konev
Hari Singh Nalwa Biography
Hari Singh Nalwa
Herbert Sobel Biography
Herbert Sobel
Andrey Vlasov Biography
Andrey Vlasov
Abner Doubleday Biography
Abner Doubleday