Vasco da Gama was a Portuguese explorer and leader. He is best know in history because he is the man who was in charge of the voyage that first went around Cape Horn at the southern tip of Africa. So that made him the first known European to sail around Africa and to make it to Asia by sea instead of having to go by land. This "discovery" was very lucrative for Portugal because it allowed easier trade with Asia.
Da Gama was born in Portugal sometime in the 1460s. He died in India in late 1524. He was in India because he had been appointed governor of the Portuguese possessions in India.
Vasco Da Gama(1469?-1524), was a Portuguese sailor and explorer. He is best known for leading the first fleet to reach India from Europe in 1490's, sailing around the Cape of Good Hope. In this way he established the first all-water trade route between Europe and Asia.
On his voyage to India, Da Gama commanded four ships, with a total crew of about 170 men. He sailed from Lisbon, Portugal, on July 8, 1497. He rounded the Cape of Good Hope on November 22, headed north, and stopped at trading centres that are now Mocambique, Mozambique; and Mombasa and Malindi, Kenya. The people at Malindi arranged for a guide to lead the fleet to India. On May 20, 1498, da Gama reached Calicut, India.