Juan Ponce de León

Juan Ponce de León (/ˌpɒns də ˈliːən/, also UK: /ˌpɒnseɪ də leɪˈɒn/, US: /ˌpɒns də liˈoʊn, ˌpɒns(ə) deɪ -/, Spanish: [ˈxwam ˈponθe ðe leˈon]; 1474 – July 1521) was a Spanish explorer and conquistador known for leading the first official European expedition to Florida and serving as the first governor of Puerto Rico. He was born in Santervás de Campos, Valladolid, Spain in 1474. Though little is known about his family, he was of noble birth and served in the Spanish military from a young age. He first came to the Americas as a “gentleman volunteer” with Christopher Columbus’s second expedition in 1493.