Legendary Frenchman Jacques Cousteau crammed a lot of activity into his 87 years. He was a sailor in the French Navy, a record-setting free diver, co-inventor of the air regulator in scuba equipment, and even had brief stints as an international spy and an underwater archaeologist! However, it is his ground breaking and Oscar-winning underwater film making for which he is best known. In 1956 his documentary The Silent World was released. For the vast majority of audiences, this was their first glimpse of what the underwater world looked like, and many were enraptured with what they saw.
The demand for scuba equipment (with Jacque’s regulator) went up, and people took to the water to experience the marine environment firsthand. Jacques went on to win two more Oscars for his underwater film making. He also made a TV series, ‘The Underwater World of Jacques Cousteau’, which ran for 8 years in the 1960s and 70s, inspiring a new generation of divers to explore the vast, diverse world that lies underwater.