Ann Bancroft

Ann Bancroft: The Risk-Taker

Born: September 29, 1955

St. Paul, Minnesota

The Mission:

Ann Bancroft is one of the world´s preeminent polar explorers and an internationally recognized leader who is dedicated to inspiring women, girls and audiences around the world to unleash the power of their dreams. Through her various roles as an explorer, educator and sought-after speaker, Bancroft believes that by sharing stories related to her dreams of outdoor adventure, she can help inspire a global audience to pursue their individual dreams.



  • 1986: Ann dogsleds 1,000 miles (1,600 km) from the Northwest Territories of Canada to the North Pole as the only female member of the Steger International Polar Expedition. She has the distinction of being the first known woman in history to cross the ice to the North Pole.
  • 1987: Ann named Ms. Magazine’s “Woman of the Year.”
  • 1992: Ann leads the first east to west crossing of Greenland by American women.
  • 1993: Ann leads the American Women’s Expedition to the South Pole, a 67-day expedition of 660 miles (1,060 km) on skis by four women. The team earned the distinction of being the first women in history to cross the ice to both the North and South Poles.
  • 1995: National Women’s Hall of Fame inducts Ann as an honorary member.
  • 1998: Ann featured in the book Remarkable Women of the Twentieth Century.
  • 2001: “Woman of the Year,” Awarded by Glamour Magazine
  • Ann founded and leads the Ann Bancroft Foundation, a non-profit organization celebrating the existing and potential achievements of women and girls. She also co-founded Bancroft Arnesen Explore with Liv Arnesen, with the mission to inspire people, particularly women and girls, to follow their dreams.

Ann’s expeditions have been followed by:

  • BBC
  • CNN
  • National Public Radio
  • NBC Nightly News
  • NBC’s Today Show
  • TIME Magazine
  • National GeographicAnn Bancroft with a dog
  • Vogue
  • People Magazine
  • USA Today
  • Ms. Magazine
  • McCall’s
  • Ladies’ Home Journal
  • Good Housekeeping
  • Outside
  • Sports Illustrated
  • O, The Oprah Magazine
  • TIME for Kids