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Edmund Hillary, who gained worldwide fame after he and guide Tenzing Norgay became the first people to reach the summit of Mount Everest, has died after suffering a heart attack.

New Zealander Hillary, who was 88, died at Auckland City Hospital on Friday morning at 0900 local time, Hillary family spokesman Mark Sainsbury said. "He had been in good form and been looking forward to coming home, and had remained in good spirits to the end," Sainsbury said in a statement issued by the Hillary family.

"The family are honored to accept the government's offer of a state funeral, recognizing the impact he had on all New Zealanders. They are also comforted by the messages of support from around the country and around the world. Read full article »

CNN's Julie Clothier contributed to this report

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