Arguably, Hernán Cortés is the most famous - or infamous - of the Spanish explorers. Jessie Szalay, LiveScience Contributor, offers a biographical feature on the conqueror of the Aztec Empire and governor of New Spain.
Cortés first arrived in the New World in 1504. In 1540, he retired to Spain, still hoping to return to power in Mexico. The years between were met with great success, such as the defeat of Montezuma, and great failure, the loss of his governorship. Szalay creates a timelime of the explorer's life.