Mexico City.- Jacques-Yves Cousteau had several passions: underwater life, exploration, film and photography, disciplines in which he scored numerous successes, many of which he inherited for posterity in his approximately 120 documentaries that, currently, they are subject of study.
Born on June 11, 1910 in Saint-André-de-Cubzac, France, the most important explorer and underwater researcher of the 20th century made contributions in the fields of science and the arts that today are subjects of forced analysis in schools of Cinema and Marine Photography throughout the world.According to his most severe biographers, from his childhood he became accustomed to travel because his father, Daniel Cousteau, constantly toured the world for work reasons, as he served as secretary of the American billionaire Eugene Higgins.
Jacques was a very sick child, probably because of the continuous change of eating habits and environments, in addition to the constant coming and going in different countries.His parents attributed the deteriorated health of the boy to the tight schedule of the continuous trips; for that reason, with the idea and the hope of changing his life, he was enrolled in a French boarding school where he was not a good student although he approved his courses.
But contrary to what was expected, the infant’s health worsened and Higgins, his father’s boss, considered that what Jacques needed to improve his physical condition was to exercise, especially swimming.In 1920 the Cousteau family accompanied the multimillionaire to the United States; Jacques and his brother Pierre Antoine swam in the Lake Vermont Summer Camp; from then on, the health of the eared young man began to be more vigorous.Although swimming began to have an influence on his life, it was not his only passion. The way in which the machines were constituted and the way they worked attracted his attention, in particular a relatively new device: the camera.In 1929, at the age of 19, Jacques graduated decently, with an unexpected success in his studies; However, what he really wanted was adventure, to travel the world, according to the portal Biografiasyvidas.com.
For that reason a year later he joined the Navy and in his third year he was assigned to a cruise that allowed him to travel the world, with camera in hand. On his return, he edited everything he had filmed as a documentary.
From 1933 to 1935, on board a French naval cruiser, he toured the Far East, particularly the lands of Shanghai, in China.On July 12, 1937, the researcher married Simone Melchoir, a young Frenchwoman from a family of sailors and from that moment on they became inseparable since both were passionate about the sea and travelling. The following year his son Jean-Michel was born, followed by Philippe, Diane and Pierre-Yves.
Jacques and Simone spent hours discussing their ideas to improve diving until Cousteau got his first big success, in 1943, when together with the engineer Émile Gagnan he invented a simple, reliable, lightweight and easy-to-carry regulator in the dives, with total Independence of cables and tubes of air supplies from the surface.
This lover of nature and protector of the environment managed to make millions of people explore the resources of marine life; In 1960 he organized a campaign against the large amount of waste that was to be discharged into the sea by the European Atomic Energy Community.
In 1973, with his two sons and Frederick Hyman, he created the Cousteau Society for the protection of ocean life. For the results obtained, four years later he and Sir Peter Scott received the International Award for the Environment, granted by the United Nations Organization. In 1985 he received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in the United States.In 1992 he was invited to the United Nations International Conference for Environment and Development, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and since then he has become an advisor to the UN and the World Bank.
In the legacy that the oceanographer contributed to the world, is the knowledge of new marine species, their classification and their behaviour.
In addition, the marine explorer adapted the cameras to the aquatic world, and in his eagerness to help the environment, he promoted the use of wind energy to avoid water pollution.
The commander Jacques Cousteau died of heart problems at age 87, on June 25, 1997, and to this day he is still a teacher for thousands of people on the planet.