Attenborough, Sir David Frederick

Attenborough, Sir David Frederick, 1926–, British naturalist and television personality. After serving in the Royal Navy (1947–49), he worked as an editor, then joined the BBC (1952) as a producer of nature shows including the Zoo Quest series, one of the first programs to film animals in the wild. After leaving the BBC in the early 1960s, he studied social anthropology at the London School of Economics, then rejoined the network (1965–72) as controller for BBC Two, producing the series The Ascent of Man and Civilization. He then devoted himself to writing, producing, and narrating nature programs including Life on Earth, which debuted in 1976 and continued for 96 episodes, and the 10-part The Life of Birds (1998); he narrated Wildlife on One (1977–2005), The Blue Planet (2001), Planet Earth (2006), and Our Planet (2019), which explains the contemporary dangers to earth's ecosystems. His environmental concerns also are marked in State of the Planet (2000) and Saving Planet Earth (2007), both of which he wrote and produced. He has written many books on topics related his television documentaries. Attenborough was knighted in 1985.

See his memoirs (2002); study by S. Dux (2013).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2024, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Environmental Studies: Biographies