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Juan Ponce de Leon was born in Léon, Spain in 1460. In his early years, he grew up with a poor family in Santervas de Campos. He served as a page at the court of Aragon. When there, he became a soldier where he learned how to fight and religion. In 1493, he was on Christopher Columbus’s second expedition. From there, he became known in Spain and was very famous. After that expedition, he got into exploring and went to many more expeditions. From 1500-1510, Juan found an island in the Caribbean and named it Hispaniola, which is now Haiti and Dominican Republic. He made the island a colony and became the provincial governor of the eastern side. When coming back to Spain he got married with a woman named Leonora. They both then had three kids. In 1506 the Spanish Crown heard that in a nearby island of Puerto Rico had a large supply of gold and ordered Juan to explore the island. Juan went on only one boat and went with 50 soldiers. After his successful exploring of the island of Puerto Rico, he brought much gold to Hispaniola and he became the first governor of Puerto Rico. He took his family to live in Puerto Rico. In 1509, there was a conflict between the son of Christopher Columbus and the Crown which made him lose the job of governor. Since most of the Crowns were his rivals, he felt hopeless of being able to explore again. That changed in 1512 where King Ferdinand encouraged him to explore the world. Excited, he decided to take an expedition to an island called Bimini where he was set to explore the Fountain of Youth. On March 1513, in Puerto Rico, he brought three boat with 200 men to start his expedition to Bimini. In a month of his expedition, he found and thought was an island. The island turned out to be the east coast of Florida. Juan named the land Florida, which came from the word flower because when he got there, he saw many flowers. That time happened to Easter. In 1514 he was on his way back to Puerto Rico when he heard that the King Ferdinand had died and had to return back to Spain. Two years later, he returned to Puerto Rico and decided to go on another expedition to Florida. When there, he was attacked by Calusa warriors and was shot by a poison arrow in the thigh. When going to Cuba, he died on July 1512. He will be remembered as one of the greatest Spanish conquistadors in the world.

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