Ericson, Leif (A.D. 980?-1025?), Leif Ericsson (also spelled Eriksson) the Lucky (980?-1020?) was a Viking explorer who was possibly the first European to sail to North America. Leif sailed north from the southern tip of Greenland, then went south along the coast of Baffin Island down to Labrador, and then landed in what is now called Newfoundland (which he called Vinland). Ericsson sailed around the year 1000.
Ericsson was born in Iceland and was one of the sons of the explorer Eric the Red.
Ericsson was probably not the first to Vinland. His relative, Bjarni Herjulfsson, spotted the coast of North America in 985 or 986 when blown off course from Iceland to Greenland (but he did not go ashore). Hearing of Herjulfsson's discovery, Ericson wanted to explore! Ericsson sailed for North America in the year 1000 with a crew of 35. He landed in what is probably southern Baffin Island (which he called Helluland, meaning the "land of the flat stone"). He then went on the what is now Labrador (which he called Markland, meaning "forest land"). In 1001 they reached Vinland (perhaps the southern tip of Newfoundland, where remains of an ancient Viking settlement have been found). Ericsson and his crew returned to Green land in the spring of 1002.
Ericsson later inherited
his father's position as leader of the Norse colony in Greenland.