Estêvão da Gama was appointed alcaide-mór (civil governor) of Sines in the 1460s, a post he held until 1478; after that he continued as a receiver of taxes and holder of the Order's commendas in the region.
Estêvão da Gama married Isabel Sodré, a daughter of João Sodré (also known as João de Resende), scion of a well-connected family of English origin.
Vasco da Gama's father was Estêvão da Gama, who had served in the 1460s as a knight of the household of Infante Ferdinand, Duke of Viseu.
He rose in the ranks of the military Order of Santiago.
1460s – 24 December 1524), was a Portuguese explorer and the first European to reach India by sea.
His initial voyage to India (1497–1499) was the first to link Europe and Asia by an ocean route, connecting the Atlantic and the Indian oceans and therefore, the West and the Orient.
The expedition rounded the southern tip of Africa at the Cape of Good Hope on November 22. They stopped at trading ports along the way including Mombasa and Malindi. Around half of his crew died from scurvy as the trip back took much longer. The second voyage was more of a military expedition where he captured Arab ships and tried to show the might of the Portuguese navy.
At Malindi they gained a local navigator who knew the direction to India. On the third voyage Vasco was to take over as Viceroy of Portuguese India.
Numerous homages have been made worldwide to celebrate his explorations and accomplishments.
The Portuguese national epic poem, Os Lusíadas, was written in his honour by Camões (d.1580).