Andres Manuel del Rio was born in Spain in 1764. He was educated in France, Germany, and England before moving to Mexico in 1764. In Mexico he worked as a professor at the Royal School of Mines in Mexico City. He discovered vanadium in 1801 in a brown lead ore, now called vanadinite. He originally called it erythronium. His claim for a new element was rejected, as it was thought to be chromium. The element was later confirmed as vanadium when it was rediscovered by Nils Gabriel Sefstöm in an iron ore in a Swedish mine in 1830. Later in his life Del Rio was an activist for Mexican independence. He died in Mexico in 1849 at the age of 84.