Juan Ponce de León (ca. 1460–1521) was the Spanish explorer who adventured through Florida in a search for the fountain of youth. Ponce de León traveled with Columbus’s 1493 expedition and took part in another expedition to Hispaniola in 1502, where he became the governor of the western part of the island. In 1513, he set off to establish a settlement in the Bahamas but instead happened upon present-day Florida, which he believed was an island, and claimed it for Spain. He returned to Spain in 1514, where he was recognized with a knighthood for his accomplishments.

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