Known for movies

Short Info

DiedJune 25, 1997, Paris, France
SpouseFrancine Cousteau, Simone Melchior
MarkRed woolen cap
FactThe French Government awarded him the prestiguous Legion d'honneur.

Jacques-Yves Cousteau was a French explorer, conservationist, filmmaker, innovator, scientist, photographer, author and researcher who studied the sea and all forms of life in water. He co-developed the Aqua-lung, pioneered marine conservation and was a member of the Académie française.

Cousteau was born on 11 June 1910, in Saint-André-de-Cubzac, Gironde, France to Daniel and Elizabeth Cousteau. His father was an engineer and his mother a teacher. He had two sisters, Simone and Françoise. Cousteau completed his secondary education at the Collège Stanislas in Paris.

In 1930, Cousteau entered the École Navale and graduated as a gunnery officer. He took interest in diving from an early age and made his first recorded dive in 1933. In 1936, he married Simone Melchior, with whom he had two sons, Jean-Michel and Philippe.

During World War II, Cousteau served in the French Navy. In 1943, he participated in the rescue of survivors from the sinking of the SS Goya. He also served in the Mediterranean Sea and took part in the landings in Provence (Operation Dragoon) in August 1944.

After the war, Cousteau devoted himself to oceanographic research and exploration. In 1950, he founded the French Oceanographic Campaigns (FOC) with several other scientists. The FOC conducted many expeditions and made important discoveries, such as the wreck of the Titanic in 1985.

In 1952, Cousteau co-invented the Aqua-lung, an underwater breathing apparatus that allowed divers to stay underwater for extended periods of time. This invention revolutionized diving and made it possible for Cousteau to conduct extensive underwater research.

Cousteau also pioneered marine conservation. In 1973, he founded the Cousteau Society, an organization dedicated to protecting the world’s oceans and marine life. He also helped create several marine reserves, including the Calypso Deep in the Mediterranean Sea.

Cousteau was a prolific author and filmmaker. He wrote more than 50 books and made over 100 films. His best-known book is The Silent World (1953), which won the Pulitzer Prize for non-fiction. His films include The Silent World (1956), World Without Sun (1964) and The Living Sea (1973).

Cousteau died on 25 June 1997, at the age of 87. His legacy continues through his work as an explorer, conservationist and filmmaker.

General Info

Full NameJacques Cousteau
DiedJune 25, 1997, Paris, France
ProfessionExplorer, Photographer, Author, Film director, Film producer, Screenwriter, Television producer, Oceanographer
EducationÉcole Navale, Collège Stanislas de Paris


SpouseFrancine Cousteau, Simone Melchior
ChildrenPhilippe Cousteau, Jean-Michel Cousteau, Pierre-Yves Cousteau, Diane Cousteau
ParentsDaniel Cousteau, Élisabeth Cousteau
SiblingsPierre-Antoine Cousteau


AwardsPalme d'Or, Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature, Presidential Medal of Freedom, Academy Award for Best Short Film (Live Action), BAFTA Fellowship, International Emmy Founders Award, Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Informational Special, Founder's Gold Medal, National Board of Review Awar...
NominationsPrimetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Informational Series, Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Informational Program
MoviesWorld Without Sun, The Silent World, The Golden Fish, Cries from the Deep, Epaves, Par dix-huit mètres de fond, St. Lawrence: Stairway to the Sea, Cousteau: Alaska: Outrage at Valdez, Rhythm on the Reef, Silent Landscapes, Carnet de plongee, Autour d'un récif, La mer rouge, Danger Under the Sea, L...
TV ShowsCousteau: Amazon, Cousteau: Mississippi

Social profile links


#Marks / Signs
1Red woolen cap


1The sea is the universal sewer. [on the sea as a place "where all kinds of pollution wind up," to House Committee on Science and Astronautics, 28 January 1971]
2What is a scientist after all? It is a curious man looking through a keyhole, the keyhole of nature, trying to know what's going on.
3If we go on the way we have, the fault is our greed [and] if we are not willing [to change], we will disappear from the face of the globe, to be replaced by the insect.
4Farming as we do it is hunting, and in the sea we act like barbarians.
5We must plant the sea and herd its animals ... using the sea as farmers instead of hunters. That is what civilization is all about - farming replacing hunting. [Interview, 17 July 1971]
6It takes generosity to discover the whole through others. If you realize you are only a violin, you can open yourself up to the world by playing your role in the concert.


1Did not hold any scientific degrees.
2Member of the Academie Francaise and the National Academy of Sciences in America.
3Lost his younger son, Philippe, in a seaplane crash in 1979.
4Retired from the French Navy with the rank of captain in 1956. That same year, he was appointed head of Monaco's Oceanographic Institute.
5The French Government awarded him the prestiguous Legion d'honneur.
6His ship, the 'Calypso', was a 66 foot-long converted minesweeper. It served as his flagship until 1996, when it was hit by a barge in Singapore harbour and sank.
7During World War II, he was posted to the naval base at Toulon as an artillery instructor. He later joined the French resistance and conducted espionage against Italian occupation forces.
8Having enrolled in the French Navy's aviation school, he was about to take his pilot's exam, when he crashed his father's car on a foggy mountain road. He broke both of his arms, one becoming infected. The accident possibly saved his life, since all but one of his fellow aviation classmates were later killed in action during World War II.
9Though he was frail and anemic as a child, he learned to swim at the age of four.
10His book, "The Silent World", sold over five million copies in 22 languages.
11Has his look-alike puppet in the French show Les guignols de l'info (1988).
12Grandfather of Alexandra Cousteau and Philippe Cousteau, Jr.
13He was awarded an Honorary A.C. (Companion of the Order of Australia) on January 26, 1990 for his services to the environment, conservation, and marine life in our oceans.
14The John Denver song "Calypso" is about him. It is named for Jacques' boat.
15Society of Operating Cameramen, (SOC) Recipient, Governors Award (1996).
16Inventor of the modern aqua-lung.
17Father of 'Diane Cousteau'.
18Described himself as an "oceanographic technician".
19Was a member of the French Resistance in World War II.
20Pioneer in the field of underwater filming.
21Father of Jean-Michel Cousteau and Philippe Cousteau.



Cousteau: My First 85 Years1995TV Movie executive producer
Cousteau's Rediscovery of the World II1993-1994TV Series documentary executive producer - 3 episodes
Cousteau: Alaska: Outrage at Valdez1989executive producer
Cousteau's Rediscovery of the World ITV Series documentary producer - 6 episodes, 1986 - 1987 executive producer - 2 episodes, 1986 - 1989
AmazonTV Series documentary executive producer - 3 episodes, 1984 - 1985 producer - 1 episode, 1984
Explorers of the Deep1979TV Series documentary producer
The Cousteau Odyssey1977-1978TV Series documentary executive producer - 6 episodes
The Undersea World of Jacques CousteauTV Series documentary executive producer - 19 episodes, 1968 - 1976 producer - 6 episodes, 1968 - 1976
National Geographic SpecialsTV Series documentary executive producer - 2 episodes, 1968 - 1969 producer - 1 episode, 1966
Le monde sans soleil1964Documentary producer
The Golden Fish1959Short producer
Un musée dans la mer1953producer
La mer rouge1952producer
Carnet de plongée1950producer
Une sortie du 'Rubis'1950producer
Autour d'un récif1949producer
Dauphins et crétacés1949producer
Les phoques du Rio d'Oro1949producer
Paysages du silence1947producer
Épaves1946Documentary short producer
Par dix-huit mètres de fond1943producer


Du grand large aux Grands Lacs1982Documentary
The Cousteau Odyssey1978TV Series documentary 1 episode
The Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau1969TV Series documentary 1 episode
Le monde sans soleil1964Documentary
Le monde du silence1956Documentary
Un musée dans la mer1953
La mer rouge1952
Rhythm on the Reef1952Documentary short
Danger Under the Sea1951Documentary short
Carnet de plongée1950
Une sortie du 'Rubis'1950
Au large des côtes Tunesiennes1949
Autour d'un récif1949
Dauphins et crétacés1949
Les phoques du Rio d'Oro1949
Paysages du silence1947
Épaves1946Documentary short
Par dix-huit mètres de fond1943


L'odyssée2016book: L'homme, la pieuvre et l'orchidée
Les pièges de la mer1982Documentary story
The Cousteau Odyssey1980TV Series documentary written by - 1 episode
Le monde du silence1956Documentary
Rhythm on the Reef1952Documentary short


Rhythm on the Reef1952Documentary short
Danger Under the Sea1951Documentary short

Camera Department

Le monde du silence1956Documentary cinematographer: underwater scenes


The World's First Computer2012Documentary archive film - as Jacques Cousteau


The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou2004dedicatee


Shipwrecked on a Great Lake2014Himself - Explorer
The Titanic's Lost Sister1996TV Movie documentaryHimself
Les prairies de la mer1995TV MovieHimself
Cousteau: My First 85 Years1995TV MovieHimself
Cousteau's Rediscovery of the World II1992TV Series documentaryHimself
La palmera1991TV SeriesHimself
Le grand échiquier1988-1989TV SeriesHimself / Himself - Main Guest
7 sur 71984-1989TV SeriesHimself / Himself - Guest
Cousteau's Rediscovery of the World I1986-1989TV Series documentaryHimself
Jacques Cousteau: The First 75 Years1986DocumentaryHimself
Amazon1984-1985TV Series documentaryHimself - Host
Du grand large aux Grands Lacs1982DocumentaryHimself - team member (uncredited)
Les pièges de la mer1982Documentary
Clipperton: The Island Time Forgot1981DocumentaryHimself
Histoire de la marine1979TV Series documentaryHimself
Explorers of the Deep1979TV Series documentaryHimself
The 30th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards1978TV SpecialHimself - Presenter: Outstanding Informational Series (as Jacques Cousteau)
The Cousteau Odyssey1977-1978TV Series documentaryHimself / Himself - Host
Voyage au bout du monde1976DocumentaryHimself
Dinah!1975-1976TV SeriesHimself
The Mike Douglas Show1976TV SeriesHimself - Underwater Explorer
Cousteau: Oasis in Space1976TV Series documentaryHimself
The Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau1968-1975TV Series documentaryNarrator / Himself
The Dick Cavett Show1970-1971TV SeriesHimself
The David Frost Show1970-1971TV SeriesHimself
The Tragedy of the Red Salmon1970TV Movie documentaryNarrator (voice)
The Joey Bishop Show1968-1969TV SeriesHimself
National Geographic Specials1966TV Series documentaryHimself
Pariser Journal1963TV Series documentaryHimself
The Twentieth Century1960TV Series documentaryHimself
En direct de...1957TV Series documentaryHimself
Omnibus1956TV SeriesHimself ('The Silent World')
What's My Line?1956TV SeriesHimself - Contestant
Tonight!1956TV SeriesHimself - Guest
Le monde du silence1956DocumentaryHimself
Reflets de Cannes1956TV Series documentaryHimself
Rhythm on the Reef1952Documentary shortHimself
Danger Under the Sea1951Documentary shortHimself
Épaves1946Documentary shortNarrator

Archive Footage

Nuclear Sharks2016TV Movie documentarySea Explorer
Antarctica: Ice & Sky2015DocumentaryHimself (uncredited)
John Denver: Country Boy2013TV Movie documentaryHimself
Greenpeace: The Story2011DocumentaryHimself
Wallace and Gromit's World of Invention2010TV Series documentaryHimself
Jeopardy!2010TV SeriesHimself
Du silence et des hommes - Les pionniers du 'Monde du silence'2010Video documentary
Square Roots: The Story of SpongeBob SquarePants2009TV Movie documentaryHimself
60/902008TV SeriesHimself
Spisok korabley2008DocumentaryHimself
Les 40 ans de la 22004TV Movie documentaryHimself
Reputations1998TV Series documentaryHimself
The 70th Annual Academy Awards1998TV SpecialHimself (Memorial Tribute)
30 Years of National Geographic Specials1995TV Movie documentaryHimself
Profondeur 40501954Documentary shortHimself


Won Awards

1995Governors' AwardSociety of Camera Operators
1992BambiBambi AwardsInformation
1989Career Achievement AwardInternational Documentary Association
1985Primetime EmmyPrimetime Emmy AwardsOutstanding Informational Special
1975Academy FellowshipBAFTA Awards
1970BambiBambi AwardsDocumentaryThe Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau (1968)
1965OscarAcademy Awards, USABest Documentary, FeaturesLe monde sans soleil (1964)
1960OscarAcademy Awards, USABest Short Subject, Live Action SubjectsHistoire d'un poisson rouge (1959)
1957OscarAcademy Awards, USABest Documentary, FeaturesLe monde du silence (1956)
1957Critics AwardFrench Syndicate of Cinema CriticsBest FilmLe monde du silence (1956)
1956Palme d'OrCannes Film FestivalLe monde du silence (1956)
1946AwardCannes Film FestivalShort FilmsÉpaves (1946)

Nominated Awards

1995CableACECableACE AwardsEnvironmental/Nature Documentary SpecialCousteau's Rediscovery of the World II (1992)
1995CableACECableACE AwardsEnvironmental/Nature Documentary SpecialCousteau's Rediscovery of the World II (1992)
1995CableACECableACE AwardsEnvironmental/Nature Documentary SpecialCousteau's Rediscovery of the World II (1992)
1993CableACECableACE AwardsDocumentary SeriesCousteau's Rediscovery of the World II (1992)
1989ACECableACE AwardsDocumentary SpecialCousteau's Rediscovery of the World I (1986)
1985Primetime EmmyPrimetime Emmy AwardsOutstanding Informational SpecialAmazon (1984)
1985ACECableACE AwardsInformational SpecialAmazon (1984)
1984Primetime EmmyPrimetime Emmy AwardsOutstanding Informational SeriesAmazon (1984)
1980Primetime EmmyPrimetime Emmy AwardsOutstanding Informational ProgramThe Cousteau Odyssey (1977)
1978Primetime EmmyPrimetime Emmy AwardsOutstanding Informational SpecialThe Cousteau Odyssey (1977)
1978EmmyInternational Emmy AwardsOutstanding Informational SpecialThe Cousteau Odyssey (1977)

Source: IMDb, Wikipedia

Write A Comment

Pin It