Robert Ballard


Best known for his 1985 discovery of the Titanic, Dr. Robert Ballard has succeeded in tracking down numerous other significant shipwrecks, including the German battleship Bismarck, the lost fleet of Guadalcanal, US aircraft carrier Yorktown (sunk in the World War II Battle of Midway) and John F. Kennedy's boat, PT-109.

In addition to being a National Geographic Society explorer-in-residence and a commissioner on the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy, Ballard is the president of the Ocean Exploration Trust (OET).

He spent 30 years at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, where he helped develop telecommunications technology to create "tele-presence" for his education initiative. That allows hundreds of thousands of schoolchildren to accompany him from afar on undersea explorations around the globe each year.

Ballard has 21 honorary degrees and six military awards. He was also a commander in the U.S. Naval Reserve, and served in the Navy from 1967 to 1997. He received the National Geographic Society's prestigious Hubbard Medal in 1996 for "extraordinary accomplishments in coaxing secrets from the world's oceans and engaging students in the wonder of science."

In 2014, he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Ballard has published numerous books, scientific papers, and a dozen articles in National Geographic. He also has been featured in several National Geographic television programs, including the record-breaking "Secrets of the Titanic."