Don Walsh

Global Perspectives Guest Speaker

Don Walsh is an oceanographer, ocean engineer, and retired Navy Captain. Dr. Walsh and his co-pilot hold a record for the deepest manned dive in human history. Awarded the Legion of Merit by President Eisenhower, he subsequently served two presidential appointments — by Presidents Carter and Reagan — to the National Advisory Committees on Oceans and Atmosphere.

From 1959-1962 Lieutenant Walsh was the first Officer-in-Charge of the Bathyscaph Trieste at the Navy Electronics Laboratory in San Diego. Designated USN Deep Submersible Pilot #1, he and Jacques Piccard dove Trieste to the deepest place in the world ocean: 35,840 feet. For this achievement, Lieutenant Walsh received a medal from President Eisenhower at ceremonies in the White House. No one has ever repeated this exploration.

Dr. Walsh is author of over 200 ocean-related publications. He has participated in diving operations with over two dozen manned submersibles, and has also been active in the design, manufacture and operation of submersibles.

His travels have taken him to about 112 nations and he has participated in over 50 polar expeditions. And he isn’t slowing down. In 1999, using a Russian Mir submersible, he dove 8,000 feet to the Mid-Atlantic Ridge near the Azores. In 2001, he dove 12,500 feet to the wreck of Titanic and the next year to the WWII German Battleship Bismarck at 15,500 feet.

He is also an Honorary Life Member of both The Explorers Club and The Adventurers Club. In addition, he is the Honorary President of the Explorers Club.

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