Cabrillo had a vivid live. He was born betwenn 1498 and 1500 in Portugal (or possibly Spain) and grew up in what is today known as Cuba. In 1520, he joined the army of the conquistador Hernán Cortés, who had recently captured the Aztec capital Tenochtitlán. For 12 years, Cabrillo was a captain of Cortés' second-in-command Pedro de Alvarado. Cabrillo arrived at San Diego Bay on September 28, 1542.