[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index
We have lost the world's most famou
- Subject: We have lost the world's most famou
- From: nin@xxxxxx
- Date: Wed, 25 Jun 1997 10:31:00
Subject: We have lost the world's most famous Oceanographer
"ALWAYS SOMETHING NEW TO LEARN AND SEE"
Please excuse me if this posting is disturbing. I post it to share the
feeling of loss. Today, the world lost one of his great scientist in
the field of Oceanography.
What you will be reading in a moment is his technical journey being
broadcast by CNN and then in a separate posting you will read his
spiritual journey being broadcast by another independent source.
Forwarded by NiNi
Famed sea explorer Jacques Cousteau dead at 87, June 25, 1997
Wed posted at: 6:12 a.m. EDT (1012 GMT)
(CNN) For millions of people who saw the ocean only through the
porthole of television, the voice of the sea had a soft French accent.
On Wednesday, Jacques-Yves Cousteau, the underwater pioneer who opened up
the mysterious world beneath the sea to millions of landlocked viewers,
died after a reportedly lengthy illness. He was 87.
A press statement from the Cousteau Foundation, which in recent years has
handled all his business and personal affairs, announced his death.
Jacques-Yves Cousteau has rejoined the World of Silence, the foundation
said, referring to one of his most famous documentaries.
Cousteau's 60-year-long odyssey with the Earth's seas much of it on his
famous boat, the Calypso was more than a great adventure. He co-invented
the aqualung, developed a one-man, jet-propelled submarine and helped start
the first manned undersea colonies.
But the bespectacled, wiry Cousteau, often wearing his trademark red wool
cap, became a household name primarily through his hugely popular
television series, The Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau, and his many
After he led a 1972 voyage to Antarctica, a worldwide television audience
saw for the first time the extraordinary beauty of sculptured ice
formations under the sea. Cousteau liked to call himself an oceanographic
technician. But he was also a romantic who once said that for him, water
was the ultimate symbol of love. The reason why I love the sea, I cannot
explain, a chuckling Cousteau told The Associated Press. It's physical. ...
When you dive, you begin to feel that you're an angel. It's a liberation of
your weight. Inauspicious beginnings
Cousteau was born June 11, 1910, in Saint-Andre-de-Cubzac, a small town
near Bordeaux. His father was a lawyer who traveled constantly. As a
result, the boy was often on the move. He was a sickly child. Nonetheless,
he learned to swim and spent hours at the beach. Formal schooling bored
Cousteau; he was expelled from high school for breaking 17 of the school's
windows. His first dive was in Lake Harvey, Vermont, in the summer of 1920.
He was spending the season away from New York City, where he and his
parents lived briefly.
In 1930, Cousteau passed the highly competitive entrance examinations to
enter France's Naval Academy. He served in the navy and entered naval
aviation school. A near-fatal car crash at age 26 denied him his wings, and
he was transferred to sea duty, where he swam rigorously to strengthen
badly weakened arms. The therapy had unintended consequences, as Cousteau
wrote in his 1953 book, The Silent World, which has sold 5 million copies
in more than 20 languages. Sometimes we are lucky enough to know that our
lives have been changed, to discard the old, embrace the new, and run
headlong down an immutable course, he wrote. It happened to me ... on that
summer's day, when my eyes were opened to the sea. Manfish During World War
II, Cousteau was involved in espionage activities for the French
Resistance. After the war, he was decorated with the Legion of Honor,
France's highest honor. He also made his first underwater films during the
war period, and, with engineer Emile Gagnan, perfected the piece of
equipment that he said enabled him to be a manfish the aqualung, an
underwater breathing apparatus that supplies oxygen to divers. In 1950, a
millionaire gave Cousteau money to buy the 400-ton former mine-sweeper
Calypso. He converted it into a floating laboratory outfitted with the most
modern equipment, including underwater television gear. In 1952-53 Cousteau
took the Calypso to the Red Sea and shot the first color footage ever taken
at a depth of 150 feet. One of his most renowned exploits was the
unearthing of the hull of an ancient Greek wine freighter, buried deep in
fossil mud 130 feet below the surface off the French coast near Marseilles.
The Calypso also conducted the first offshore oil survey by divers.
He authored countless books, including The Living Sea (1963) and World
Without Sun (1965). A 20-volume encyclopedia, The Ocean World of Jacques
Cousteau, was blished in the United States and England. In 1977, the
Cousteau Odyssey's series premiered on PBS. Seven years later, the Cousteau
Amazon 94 series premiered on the Turner Broadcasting System. In all, his
documentaries have won 40 Emmy nominations. Explorer, educator, He will be
remembered not only as a pioneer in his time, but as a dominant figure in
world history, said President Ronald Reagan in 1985. Cousteau's films and
philosophy influenced people of all ages. He kept working well into his
80s, giving up diving in cold water but not giving up educating young
people about the past. So popular was the explorer that students at the
Massachusetts Institute of Technology made up a song about him.
He doesn't have to come up for air. He's Jacques, Jacques, Jacques
Cousteau. How long can you go, the singing tribute went. From sea to
shining sea, he checks them out for you and me. It was in his later years
that Cousteau tried to teach the world to save itself. Future generations
would not forgive us for having deliberately spoiled their last opportunity
and the last opportunity is today, he said at a 1992 environmental
gathering. Age did not dim his enthusiasm. Even as the Cousteau Society and
Turner Original Productions honored him with an 85th birthday special, he
still approached his life's work with a sense of adventure. There is not
bad diver. Never. Always something new to learn and see, he said. And after
a lifetime of invention, exploration and storytelling, Cousteau said not
long before he died that he was proudest of helping to save Alaska, the
Antarctic, the Amazon and of helping awaken the awareness of people all
over the world. All these things have been hard won, he said. And we did it
and I'm proud of it.
Correspondent Mark Leff and The Associated Press contributed to this