Francisco Pizarro was born in Trujilo, Spain around 1471. His father was a captain in the infantry. His parents never married. He was brought up by his grandparents. Pizarro sailed to the New World in 1509. He spent some time in Hispaniola and then took part in the establishment of San Sebastian on the Northern coast of South America. Pizarro then made his way to Panama, where he accompanied Balboa on his expedition. There they found the Pacific Ocean. When Pedro Arias de Avila became the new governor of Panama. Pizarro aligned himself with the governor and was duly rewarded.

Pizarro heard rumors of a great civilization with gold further in the south. Pizarro led the first expedition to explore the Western coast of South America in 1524. The first expedition failed when they encountered both bad weather and native hostility.

In 1526, Pizarro led a second expedition south. During this voyage one of Pizarro's ships came across an Incan raft full of supplies, including gold, silver, and emeralds. They made the Incas prisoners, turning some of them into interpreters. Pizarro and his men regained their enthusiasm for exploration, now that they had seen their first Incas, and confirmed that they indeed had gold and silver. However, Pizarro and his men encountered heavy opposition from local natives and decided to return to Panama.

The Panamanian governor would not approve a third major expedition to South America, so Pizarro sailed to Spain to make his case directly to the King. King Charles V was favorably disposed to supporting Pizarro efforts. In his absence, his wife, the Queen signed a decree that gave Pizarro the authority to conquer the area that held the Inca Empire.

Pizarro returned to the New World with a small army. He proceeded down the Western Coast of South America. He landed at Calamara and then headed inland. He established a settlement at San Miguel de Piura, in Juy 1532. Pizarro sent his men on a scouting expedition. They learned that the Inca leader, Huascar Athualpa, was at a spa resting after a civil war. Pizarro proceeded to that location. When Athualpa refused to submit to him, he proceeded to capture him and hold him hostage. The Incas offered an immense ransom of gold and silver to Pizzaro, if he freed their king. Pizarro agreed, but once the Inca filled a room with gold and silver, Pizarro reneged and executed Athualpa. Pizarro went on to conquer Cuzco, the Incas capita in 1533. The city of Cuzco was too high in the mountains to serve as a capital for the Spaniards, so Pizarro founded the Lima. Pizarro remained the governor of Peru, until 1541, when he was assassinated.