Color photograph of French oceanic explorer Jacques Cousteau in parka.

Jacques Cousteau

(1910 - 1977)

A gunnery officer in the navy at the start of World War II, Jacques Cousteau made his first underwater film, Sixty Feet Down, in 1942 and was active in the French Resistance, later receiving the Legion of Honor. Having converted a minesweeper into a research vessel called the Calypso in 1950, Cousteau, with Frédéric Dumas, published The Silent World in 1952, winning an Academy Award five years later for a documentary of the same name. Credited with making “oceans come alive for the general public,” Cousteau prophesied in 1963 “a race of Homo aquaticus, future generations born in underwater villages…adapting to the environment so that no surgery will be necessary to permit them to live and breathe in water. It is then that we will have created the man-fish.”

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