Junko Tabei, the first woman to climb Mount Everest, died of cancer on Thursday, Japanese media reported. She was 77.
Tabei reached the summit of the world’s highest mountain in 1975. In 1992, she also became the first woman to complete the “Seven Summits,” reaching the highest peaks of the seven continents.
She gained world fame after climbing Everest, but played it down, telling Sports Illustrated in a 1996 profile: “I was the 36th person to climb Everest.”
Tabei scaled peaks in more than 60 countries, Japan’s Kyodo News agency said.
Japanese public broadcaster NHK said she continued climbing even after being diagnosed with cancer four years ago.