Born in June of 1942, Robert Duane Ballard was raised in Wichita, Kansas, far from the vast oceans that would one day become his biggest passion. As a boy, however, Ballard was always interested in the deep underwater cultures of the sea. After scuba diving off the coast of Massachusetts, the young Ballard developed a deep love of shipwrecks, the underwater graves that remain untouched for centuries.
After joining the Navy, Ballard contributed to the design and production of remote control submarine robotic tools. These tools, perhaps, played a crucial part in Ballard's eventual fame-inducing discovery of the Titanic in 1985, which notoriously sank 73 years earlier in 1912.
Four years later, in 1989, Ballard discovered yet another underwater gravesite at the location of the remains of the sunken battleship, the Bismarck.
To this day, Ballard continues his sea searches, publishing books, scholarly articles, and a variety of other documentation centering on his research, his personal experiences and views, and his hopeful plans for the future of oceanography.
Overall, Ballard has played a significant role in the encouragement of oceanography as a scientific field, and emphasizing the link that shipwrecks represent to our historical pasts. His archeological approach to underwater cultures has truly revolutionized the field of oceanography and the study of marine environments as a whole. Additionally, Ballard is certainly commended for his contributions to the preservation of aquatic life and the many untold treasures the deepest seas still hold for us.