Robert Edwin Peary, Sr. (May 6, 1856 – February 20, 1920) was an American explorer who claimed to have reached the geographic North Pole with his expedition on April 6, 1909. Peary's claim was widely credited for most of the 20th century, rather than the competing claim by Frederick Cook, who said he got there a year earlier. Both claims were widely debated in newspapers until 1913. Modern historians generally think Cook did not reach the pole. Based on an evaluation of Peary's records, British polar explorer Wally Herbert concluded in a 1989 book that Peary did not reach the pole, although he may have been as close as 60 miles (97 km).