JACQUES COUSTEAU (1910-1997)
Jacques Cousteau was known as the co-inventor of the aqualung, along with his television programs, feature-length films, and books, all of which have showcased his research on the wonders of the marine world. Cousteau helped demystify undersea life, documenting its remarkable variety, its interdependence, and its fragility. Through the Cousteau Society, which he founded, Cousteau led efforts to call attention to environmental problems and to reduce marine pollution. On July 19, 1950, Cousteau bought Calypso, a converted U.S. minesweeper. The next year, after undergoing significant renovations, Calypso sailed for the Red Sea. The Calypso Red Sea Expedition (1951–52) yielded numerous discoveries, including the identification of previously unknown plant and animal species and the discovery of volcanic basins beneath the Red Sea. In February of 1952, Calypso sailed toward Toulon. On the way home, the crew investigated an uncharted wreck near the southern coast of Grand Congloué and discovered a large Roman ship filled with treasures. While some critics challenged his scientific credentials, Cousteau never claimed "expert" status in any discipline. His talents appeared as poetic as scientific; his films and books have a lyrical quality that conveys the captain's great love of nature. Cousteau continued to speak publicly about environmental issues until he was well into his eighties, although he had given up diving in cold water.
Adapted from: "Cousteau, Jacques-Yves (1910-1997)." World of Earth Science, edited by K. Lee Lerner and Brenda Wilmoth Lerner, vol. 1, Gale, 2003
Cousteau, Jacques-Yves, and Jacques Ertaud. "Fish Men Explore a New World Undersea." National Geographic Magazine, Oct. 1952
Cousteau, Jacques-Yves. "Diving Through an Undersea Avalanche: Nearly a Mile Beneath the Mediterranean, the Bathyscaphe Touches Off a Slide Dislodging Tons of Mud." National Geographic Magazine, Apr. 1955
Cousteau, Jacques-Yves. "Diving Saucer Takes to the Deep." National Geographic Magazine, Apr. 1960
Goodman, Robert B., and Jacques-Yves Cousteau. "At Home in the Sea." National Geographic Magazine, Apr. 1964