Jacques Yves Cousteau,
b. June 11, 1910, d. June 25, 1997, a French naval officer and marine
explorer, made significant contributions to the science of oceanography.
Following graduation from the Naval Academy at Brest, France, he entered
the French navy as a midshipman. In 1936, Cousteau began studies of the
ocean environment. He founded the undersea research group of the French
navy in 1945. His technological innovations include underwater breathing
equipment, or the aqualung, developed with Émil Gagnan; the use
of underwater photography; and the bathyscaphe, an immersible boat. A
prolific author, Cousteau had the rare distinction of writing a book,
The Silent World
(with Frédéric Dumas, 1953), in
a nonnative tongue (English) and having it acclaimed by reviewers as an
excellent literary work. The film based on the book won an Academy Award
in 1957 for best feature documentary film. He won two other Academy Awards,
for the short film The Golden Fish
(1959) and the full-length documentary
World without Sun
(1965). He wrote many other nonfiction books
on such diverse topics as marine animal and plant life and underwater
archaeological discoveries. Cousteau had a strong commitment to the marine
environment and used the television medium in recent years to promote
a better understanding of the ocean and its life forms. Cousteau was director
of the Oceanographic Museum and Institute in Monaco from 1957 to 1988.
In 1989 he was inducted into France's Académie Française.
He has published many books, among them Cousteau's Amazon Journey
(1984; with Mose Richards), Jacques Cousteau: The Ocean World
and The Living Sea
(1988; with James Dugan).
R., Cousteau: The Captain and his World (1989); Stacey, P., "The
First 75 Years," Calypso Log, June 1985.