Jim Whittaker is best known as the first American to reach the summit of Mt. Everest, the highest point on earth, a feat accomplished on May 1, 1963. Jim also led Senator Robert Kennedy on the first ascent of Mt. Kennedy in 1965, a peak in the Canadian Yukon named for his slain brother. In 1978 Whittaker organized and led the first American ascent of K2, the world’s second highest mountain, succeeding after five American failures spanning 40 years. Against formidable political and logistical odds, Jim organized and led the spectacularly successful 1990 Mt. Everest peach Climb which put 20 men and women from three superpowers—the U.S., China and the Soviet Union—on the summit of Everest. As a former guide and climbing instructor on Mt. Rainier and a member of the National Ski Patrol, Mountain Rescue, and the Mountaineers, Whittaker has led life-saving rescues of skiers, climbers and aircraft. Jim was also the first full-time employee of Recreational Equipment Inc and was the company’s CEO in the 1960’s. He is now Chairman of the Board of Magellan Navigation a company that produces handheld global positioning system (GPS) units.