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Francisco Pizarro (1471 - 1541) was born into poverty, the illegitimate son of a Spanish soldier. After a brief career as a swineherd, he volunteered to join an expedition to the colony of Darien in Panama. He rose through the ranks to become right hand man of the governor. After hearing rumours of a rich country of gold to the south, he received permission from the king of Spain to lead an expedition to explore and attempt to conquer the Peruvian empire. This biography describes how, with an army of only 168 men, he was able to subjugate an entire nation. - Summary by Patrick Eaton