Khariton Laptev was born in a gentry family in the village of Pokarevo near Velikiye Luki (in the southern part of today's Pskov Oblast), just a year before his cousin Dmitry Laptev was born in the nearby village of Bolotovo.
In 1739–1742, Khariton Laptev led one of the parties of the Second Kamchatka expedition. Together with Semion Chelyuskin, N. Chekin, and G. Medvedev, Laptev described the Taimyr Peninsula from the mouth of the Khatanga River to the mouth of the Pyasina river and discovered a few of the islands in the area. After the expedition, he participated in the creation of the "General Map of the Siberian and Kamchatka Coast", and continued his military service in the Baltic Fleet. The sea coastline of the Taimyr Peninsula, a cape on the Chelyuskin Peninsula and other landmarks bear his name. The Laptev Sea was also named after him (and his cousin Dmitry Laptev). The 1962-built Project 97A icebreaker Ledokol-3 was renamed Khariton Laptev in 1966 in his honor.
- Двоюродные братья Дмитрий Яковлевич и Харитон Прокофьевич Лаптевы (The cousins Dmitry Yakovlevich and Khariton Prokofyevich Laptev) (in Russian)