John Hemming was Director of the Royal Geographic Society in London from 1975 to 1996. He has travelled throughout Peru and much of Amazonia on a series of surveying and environmental research expeditions, often in unexplored forests. He has probably visited more indigenous tribes than any other non-Brazilian, including four at the time of their first contact. In addition to The Conquest of the Incas, his sixteen books include Monuments of the Incas, The Search for El Dorado, a three-volume history of Brazil's indigenous peoples (Red Gold, Amazon Frontier, Die If You Must) and Tree of Rivers. For this work, Peru honored him with the El Sol del Peru award and the grand cross of the Order of Merit; Brazil gave him the Order of the Southern Cross; and Britain, the Order of St Michael and St George. He has a D. Litt doctorate from Oxford, and other honorary doctorates and fellowships. John Hemming is also chairman of a company publishing trade magazines and organizing trade exhibitions, and a trustee of various charities.