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First woman to scale Everest peak dies at age 77

By Amy R. Connolly
First woman to scale Everest peak dies at age 77
Junko Tabei, the first woman to successfully scale Mount Everest, died at age 77. Screenshot from NBC News

TOKYO, Oct. 22 (UPI) -- Junko Tabei, who in 1975 became the first woman to successfullly scale Mount Everest, died at age 77, her family said.

Tabei, of Japan, scaled Everest at age 35, climbing all of the world's highest peaks by 1992 including Kilimanjaro in Tanzania and Denali in Alaska. Her last ascent, of Mount Fuji, was in July with a group of high school students.

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In 2012, she told The Japan Times she was proud of her accomplishment, which was widely seen as a push forward for the women's movement in Japan.

"There was never a question in my mind that I wanted to climb that mountain, no matter what other people said," she said.

Tabei was diagnosed with abdominal cancer four years ago and died in a hospital.

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