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Philippe Cousteau

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Philippe Cousteau

Philippe Cousteau httpsspeakerdata2s3amazonawscomphotoimage

Full Name
Philippe-Pierre Cousteau

December 30, 1940 (
Toulon, France

June 28, 1979(1979-06-28) (aged 38)Tagus river

Alexandra CousteauPhilippe Cousteau, Jr.

Jacques-Yves CousteauSimone Melchior

Philippe cousteau

Philippe-Pierre Cousteau (30 December 1940 – 28 June 1979) was the second son of Jacques-Yves Cousteau and Simone Cousteau, a diver, sailor, pilot, photographer, author, director and cinematographer specializing in environmental issues, with a background in oceanography.


Philippe Cousteau Philippe Cousteau Wikipedia

Philippe Cousteau was proficient filming from the air, on land and underwater. He was the lead cinematographer for most of the Cousteau films during his lifetime, was nominated, and won multiple awards.

Philippe Cousteau Philippe Cousteau 1940 1979 Find A Grave Memorial

The ocean s curious copycat extraordinaire with philippe cousteau

Early life and education

Philippe Cousteau Welcome To RolexMagazinecomHome Of Jakes Rolex World Magazine

Born in Toulon, Philippe Cousteau first dove with an aqua-lung in 1945 when he was 4 years old. His father brought home a miniature version of the aqua-lung he had co-invented a few years before. Though Philippe had not yet learned to swim, he followed his father into the water. Growing up, he spent each school vacation aboard his father’s ship, RV Calypso.

As a teenager, he began to feel the drive to explore. While his father had pursued the horizon on the sea, Philippe dreamed of pursuing horizons in the sky and began to study aerodynamics at the age of 16, flying first as a glider pilot, and then earning his airplane pilot license at a young age.

Philippe Cousteau Welcome To RolexMagazinecomHome Of Jakes Rolex World Magazine

Philippe spent two years in the French Navy during the Algerian war as a sonar operator and member of the landing party of the Le Normand ship, later earning his degree in science, spent another year at MIT, and then went to Paris to train in cinematography, graduating from I'École technique de photographie et de cinéma (now called École nationale supérieure Louis-Lumière) in Paris.


In 1965, Philippe was an Oceanaut on the Conshelf III, an undersea habitat for saturated diving down to 325 feet near Ile Levant in the Mediterranean Sea. In addition to his duties as Oceanaut, Philippe was an underwater photographer and did all of the underwater filming, which became a National Geographic documentary film that aired in 1966.

In February 1967, Cousteau accompanied his father on the RV Calypso for an expedition to film the sharks of the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean. As well as being the lead photographer for the expedition, Philippe also chronicled his experiences in the 1970 publication The Shark: Splendid Savage of the Sea.

In 1969, Philippe lent his technical expertise to the U.S. Navy's SEALAB program. In the aftermath of aquanaut Berry L. Cannon's death while attempting to repair a leak in SEALAB III, Cousteau volunteered to dive down to SEALAB and help return it to the surface, although SEALAB was ultimately salvaged in a less hazardous way.

Until his death in 1979, he co-produced numerous documentaries with his father, including Voyage to the Edge of the World (1976, for the cinema theatres) and his own PBS series, Oasis in Space (1977, for the television), concerning environmental issues.


Philippe Cousteau was a highly experienced pilot. He earned his glider pilot license at age 16 and went on to obtain pilot credentials to fly balloons, hang gliders, single and multi-engine airplanes and seaplanes, gyrocopters and helicopters.

Philippe acquired a PBY Catalina seaplane in 1974. The amphibious aircraft was a converted U.S. Navy Catalina flying boat. Christened the Flying Calypso, the aircraft was in many of the Cousteau films and the home base for Philippe's team.

Philippe's piloting and filming from the air skills added a unique perspective to the films.

Personal life

Philippe met Janice Sullivan in the crowded ballroom of St. Regis Hotel in New York City, NY in February 1966. Jan was a fashion model originally from Los Angeles and more recently from New York. On 10 February 1967, they were married in Paris, France. Jan joined Philippe on most of the Cousteau expeditions (20 of 26 filming expeditions that spanned 13 years). They had two children, Alexandra Cousteau and Philippe Cousteau, Jr.

  • Philippe and Jan Cousteau in Australia (1971) Fathom magazine
  • Death

    He died aged 38 in 1979 in a PBY Catalina flying boat crash in the Tagus river near Lisbon. The aircraft nosed over during a high-speed taxi run undertaken to check the hull for leakage. The propeller detached from the engine and killed Philippe instantly. All others on board survived. His son, Philippe Cousteau, Jr. was born six months later.


    Philippe Cousteau received many awards and honors for his contribution to diving and underwater photography: Several Emmy's and nominations for several more Emmy's, NOGI Award for Arts from the Underwater Society of America (now presented by The Academy of Underwater Arts and Sciences) (1977), World Wildlife Award and many others.


    The Philippe Cousteau Anchor Museum in Asturias, Spain, honors the oceanographer.

    The lycée Philippe Cousteau in Saint-André-de-Cubzac, France honors his work.

    His children Alexandra Cousteau and Philippe Cousteau, Jr. continue the family work in oceanography as the Co-Founders of EarthEcho International.


    Philippe Cousteau Wikipedia