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Robert Ballard

Author of Finding the Titanic

58+ Works 6,470 Members 60 Reviews 1 Favorited

About the Author

Robert Ballard was born in Wichita, Kansas, in 1942, and was educated at the University of California at Santa Barbara, the University of Hawaii, the University of Southern California, and the University of Rhode Island, where he received his Ph.D. in 1974. Part explorer, part geologist, part show more oceanographer, and part marine engineer, Ballard has worked at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute in Falmouth, Massachusetts, since 1969. He is currently director of the Center for Marine Exploration there. Ballard is perhaps best known to the general public in connection to the luxury liner Titanic. Ballard organized and participated in the expedition that discovered the ship in 1985. More important, however, is his work in designing underwater survey vehicles and in participating in dives to explore the ocean floor. His work in marine design and engineering, in particular, has led to a dramatic increase in the scope of deep-sea exploration. In the 1960s, Ballard helped develop the Alvin, a deep-sea, three-man submersible equipped with a remote controlled mechanical arm for collecting specimens from the ocean floor. The device played an important role in mid-ocean studies, including exploration of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge and dives to the Cayman Trough, a 24,000-foot-deep gash in the ocean floor south of Cuba. Ballard was part of the Galapagos Hydrothermal Expedition in 1977, which discovered and investigated deep-sea thermal vents spouting mineral-rich water from volcanic cracks in the Earth's crust. In the 1980s, Ballard helped develop the Argo-Jason unmanned submersible system, the most advanced craft of its kind. Argo is a 16-foot submersible vehicle and Jason is a self-propelled robot tethered to Argo. The search for the Titanic was undertaken as a test of the Argo-Jason system; the success of the expedition demonstrated its capabilities and, according to Ballard, "ushered in a new era of undersea exploration." The author of several bestselling books on deep-sea exploration, Ballard also contributes regularly to National Geographic and other magazines and he has produced several videotapes of deep-sea expeditions. His reputation as a "science populizer" has prompted harsh criticism from some of his scientific colleagues. In 1985, Ballard was one of four scientists awarded a Secretary of the Navy Research Chair in Oceanography, an award that carries with it an $800,000 grant for oceanographic research. (Bowker Author Biography) show less
Image credit: wikimedia.org

Works by Robert Ballard

Finding the Titanic (1993) 1,492 copies
The Discovery of the Titanic (1987) 868 copies
Discovery of the Bismarck (1990) 267 copies
Return to Midway (1999) 196 copies
Exploring Our Living Planet (1983) 163 copies
The Eternal Darkness (2000) 101 copies
Bright Shark (1992) 97 copies
Return to Titanic (2004) 76 copies
Explorer: A Pop-Up Book (1992) 49 copies
Robert Ballard's Bismarck (2007) 41 copies
Secrets of the Titanic [1986 TV episode] (1986) — Director — 28 copies
National Geographic - Legendary Shipwrecks (2003) — Director — 2 copies
Slaget ved Midway (1999) 1 copy
Mysteriet Titanic (1989) 1 copy

Associated Works


Common Knowledge




Reread, this is still an excellent way to review these important battles of early WW2. We had much to learn but those young men did well.
jamespurcell | 3 other reviews | May 8, 2024 |
An interesting look at the life of the man who took us under the seas of our world. His fascination and perseverance took us to the Titanic, Bismarck, PT109,
and many natural discoveries that had rarely or never been seen before. A driven man who became very apt at finding and sharing these sites with students, academics, and the general public
jamespurcell | May 8, 2024 |
3.5 stars

Robert Ballard was a scientist who wanted to explore the ocean in hopes of finding the Titanic wreckage. This tells of his journey to do so (he was part of the first team to discover where it was on the ocean floor in 1985), as he created some of the video technology to do that.

This was mostly good. There were a few parts that got bogged down in detail explaining the technology or what was working (or not) that was, at times, a bit too much for me. As with many nonfiction books, it was a slow read, but overall, I still liked it. It was unfortunate that, in finding the wreckage, others followed suit and “raided” the site. Ballard had hoped that everything would remain there in its own graveyard, but of course, that didn’t happen, in the end. At the time, he was surprised at how much interest there still was in the Titanic. I did like how he would sometimes explain what they were seeing as they explored, then tie it to the real people and/or happenings on the ship in 1912. There were some amazing (colour) photographs in the book, as well – pictures of what he saw when he was underwater looking at the Titanic.… (more)
LibraryCin | 8 other reviews | Sep 10, 2023 |
I found this used after reading "Dead Wake" and noting it in Larson's bibliography. It is a nice pictorial companion to that book. The Goodreads database says there is no hardcover version of this book, but that is what I have.
markm2315 | 5 other reviews | Jul 1, 2023 |



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