Oceanographer, explorer, conservationist, and filmmaker best known for his underwater documentary series. He uncovered the wreck of HMHS Britannic in 1976 and his TV series, The Cousteau Odyssey, ran on ABC from 1977 to 1982.
A car accident prevented him from becoming a navy pilot.
He won the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival and the Academy Award for Best Documentary for his 1956 film The Silent World, which was the only documentary to win the Palme d'Or until Michael Moore won in 2004.
He married Simone Melchior on July 12, 1937 and had two sons: Jean-Michel and Philippe.
Ronald Reagan gave him the Presidential Medal of Freedom.