"a life like Jacques Cousteau"
Jacques Cousteau 1910-1997
Public DomainJacques Cousteau 1910-1997 - Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Jacques Cousteau was a 20th century French pioneer of marine conservation who called himself an "oceanographic technicianā€. His passion for ocean exploration drove him to co-develop the first open-circuit underwater breathing set, called the aqua-lung, and he continued to improveĀ this design, leading to the advanced scuba technology we use today.

In 1950, a year after retiring from the French Navy, Cousteau leased his famous research vessel, Calypso. Through the course of his life, he produced more than 120 television documentaries, wrote more than 50 books, and established his environmental protection foundation, The Cousteau Society. He died in 1997, aged 87.