The Life & Legend of Jacques-Yves Cousteau

Jacques-Yves Cousteau is a name that rings across the underwater community.

He has inspired countless stories, including the 2004 film, The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou. Plus, countless dive sites have been dedicated to him and has been pivotal to the modern diving we know of today.

But who exactly was Jacques-Yves Cousteau?

Born on June 11, 1910 in Saint-André-de-Cubzac, near Bordeaux, in France, young Cousteau learned how to swim at a tender age of four. The son of an international lawyer and a wealthy wine merchant heiress, he was privileged to move to New York where he later mastered his snorkeling and swimming skills.

It was in 1930 when he passed the tough exams for the French Naval Academy in Brest. He originally wanted to become a pilot but pursed his love for the waters instead. He became a second lieutenant who spent the majority of his time sailing the world’s seas. Despite a car crash that crushed his bones, it didn’t stop Cousteau.

He became an intelligence spy, garnered a position in the navy and later began his in depth research about the deep blue sea. It wasn’t long until he invented his very own breathing regulator. He patented the idea and later on used it to develop other diving gear. After the war, he continued with his research.

However, Jacques-Yves Cousteau is a man that doesn’t come without controversy. Many have condemned him for not giving credit where it’s due, for keeping significant diving sites a secret and for even practicing unethical measures.

Whatever people’s opinions are about him, it’s safe to say that the diving world wouldn’t be the same without Jacques-Yves Cousteau’s contributions.

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