A leading figure of the golden age of exploration, it's appropriate that Sir Wilfred Thesiger was awarded the Lawrence Medal and the Burton Medal, not least because they were all gay. Born in 1910 to a British diplomat in Abssynia, Thesiger was educated at Eton and Oxford where his only happy times were vacations (and beating Cambridge as captain of the boxing team). On his first college break he worked for his passage on a steamer to Constantinople. Returning, he found a personal invitation from Haile Selassie to attend his coronation as Emperor. On his second summer break, he worked a fishing trawler off Iceland. At 23 he went back to Africa, became assistant district commissioner in the Sudan, and learned to fast ride camels with the local men, adopting their clothes and diet. Said to call any invention more modern than the steam engine "an abomination," he hated the first world's intrusion on remote wilderness and peoples. In WWII, he fought with the Sudan defense force against Mussolini's Italians and with the Syrians against the Vichy French. A job with what became the United Nation's anti-locust program took him to the Arabia's famed Empty Quarter prompting his best work, Arabian Sands (now with an introduction by Rory Stewart), which the Guardian recently called "probably the finest book ever written about Arabia and a tribute to a world now lost forever." Thesiger's other masterpiece, The Marsh Arabs [and Kindle] (introduced by Jon Lee Anderson), covers the seven years he lived off and on with the people of southern Iraq. His travels in Asia with the Hindu Kush, the Karakorams and the Pamirs, are recounted in Among the Mountains. Chances are his autobiography Life Of My Choice avoids his homosexuality, but his gay side is somewhat integrated in Alexander Maitland's Wilfred Thesiger: The Life of the Great Explorer. Thesiger died at 93 in 2003, leaving 23,000 negatives of his photographs to the Pitt Rivers Museum at Oxford. See fifty-nine of his images here and one below.