Because Richard Francis Burton's life was so full of events, reposting them all would take up too much of mine and your time, so the bio is only the introductory section from the Wikipedia website, plus a paragraph on his early life at college, which shows his rambuctious nature and disdain for authority.
Captain Sir Richard Francis Burton KCMG FRGS (19 March 1821 – 20 October 1890) was an English geographer, explorer, translator, writer, soldier, orientalist, cartographer, ethnologist, spy, linguist, poet, fencer and diplomat. He was known for his travels and explorations within Asia, Africa and the Americas, as well as his extraordinary knowledge of languages and cultures. According to one count, he spoke 29 European, Asian and African languages.
Burton's best-known achievements include traveling in disguise to Mecca, an unexpurgated translation of One Thousand and One Nights (commonly called The Arabian Nights in English after early translations of Antoine Galland's French version), bringing the Kama Sutra to publication in English, and journeying with John Hanning Speke as the first Europeans to visit the Great Lakes of Africa in search of the source of the Nile. Burton's works and letters extensively criticized colonial policies of the British Empire, to the detriment of his career. He was a prolific and erudite author and wrote numerous books and scholarly articles about subjects including human behaviour, travel, falconry, fencing, sexual practices and ethnography. A characteristic feature of his books is the copious footnotes and appendices containing remarkable observations and information.
He was a captain in the army of the East India Company, serving in India (and later, briefly, in the Crimean War). Following this, he was engaged by the Royal Geographical Society to explore the east coast of Africa and led an expedition guided by the locals and was the first European to see Lake Tanganyika. In later life, he served as British consul in Fernando Po, Santos, Damascus and, finally, Trieste. He was a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and was awarded a knighthood (KCMG) in 1886.
Despite his intelligence and ability, Burton soon antagonized his teachers and peers. During his first term, he is said to have challenged another student to a duel after the latter mocked Burton's mustache. Burton continued to gratify his love of languages by studying Arabic; he also spent his time learning falconry and fencing. In 1842, he attended a steeplechase in deliberate violation of college rules and subsequently dared to tell the college authorities that students should be allowed to attend such events. Hoping to be merely "rusticated" —that is, suspended with the possibility of reinstatement, the punishment received by some less provocative students who had also visited the steeplechase, he was instead permanently expelled from Trinity College. In a final jab at the environment he had come to despise, Burton reportedly trampled the college's flower beds with his horse and carriage while departing Oxford.
Check out some of the other entries from the 'Men of Yore' series: