June 11

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Jacques Cousteau
1910–97, French oceanographer and naval officer.

In 1943, with Émil Gagnan, he invented the self-contained underwater breathing apparatus (scuba). He founded (1945) the French navy's undersea research group and in 1957 was made director of the oceanographic museum of Monaco. He also helped develop the bathyscaphe. Beginning in 1951 he went on annual oceanographic expeditions and wrote books and made film and television documentaries recording his trips. Teams aboard Calypso and, later, Alcyone, an experimental wind-propulsion vessel, navigated the ocean, studying the earth's ecological systems. His publications include The Silent World (with F. Dumas, 1953), The Living Sea (with J. Dugan, 1963), World Without Sun (ed. by J. Dugan, 1965), Life and Death in a Coral Sea (with P. Diolé, 1971), The Whale (with P. Diolé, 1972); and Jacques Cousteau's Calypso (1983). Among his films are The Silent World (1955) and World Without Sun (1964); his best known television series was “The Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau” (1968–75).


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