Christopher Columbus is an Italian explorer, navigator and colonizer. Though he was born in Italy, he spent most of life in Spain. During his years in Spain, he completed four voyages over the Atlantic Ocean, thus discovering American continents for Europeans.
As European imperialism was starting to emerge during that 15th century, Spain wanted to become a dominant empire as soon as possible. Thus, with the advice of Columbus to travel to East Indies by traveling westward, Spanish crown sent a crew of people to travel to Asia. However, during their first voyage in 1492, they reached Bahamas archipelago. At that time they thought it was Japan. During the next few voyages, they have reached Antilles and the coasts of Venezuela. They claimed those territories to be part of the Spanish Empire.
Even though Columbus was not the first European explorer to reach American continent, he was the first explorer whose discoveries led to the continuing contact between the two continents.