Swiss-American mountaineer Norman Dyhrenfurth dead at 99

Norman Dyhrenfurth, a Swiss-American mountaineer and filmmaker who led the successful U.S. expedition in 1963 to Mount Everest that put six climbers on the summit and inspired generations of Americans, has died. He was 99.

Ditta Vogt, the sister of Dyhrenfurth's long-time partner, Maria Sernetz, said Wednesday that he died Sunday in a Salzburg hospital. She said that he died of natural causes.

Dyhrenfurth assembled the historic team of 19 mountaineers and scientists for the 1963 Everest Expedition that practically launched the modern U.S. mountaineering and outdoor industry by putting the first Americans on top of the world's highest peak.

He also was an accomplished cameraman and director who was head of the UCLA Film School in the 1950s.