David Attenborough is an Emmy Award-winning English broadcaster and natural historian from southeast England who is well-noted for his innovative educational television programs, especially the nine natural history documentary series forming the Life collection. Attenborough also has written several nature books, including “The Private Life of Plants”(1995) and “The Life of Birds”(1998), and also had released an autobiography, “Life on Air: Memoirs of a Broadcaster”(2002).
He previously served as a senior manager at the BBC, also as controller of BBC Two and director of programming for BBC Television in the 1960s and 1970s. Attenborough is further the only person to have won BAFTAs for programs in each of black and white, color, HD, 3D, and 4K. His marvelous works also have earned him several awards including a Primetime Emmy Award for the outstanding narrator in 2020. He was also knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1985.
Before his work, he had spent 2 years at national service in the Royal Navy.
Attenborough is also known as the younger brother of the late director, producer, and actor Richard Attenborough, and older brother of the late motor executive John Attenborough. Besides, in September 2020, Attenborough made a Guinness World Record for the fastest time to reach 1 million followers on Instagram: @davidattenborough which currently has over 4.5 million followers within 7 days.
What is David Attenborough famous for?
- Famous as an English broadcaster and natural historian.
- Known for his writing and innovative educational television programs like “Life” series.
When was David Attenborough born?
David Attenborough was born on May 8, 1926, ain Isleworth, Middlesex, England. His birth name is Sir David, Frederick Attenborough. His nationality is American. Attenborough belongs to White ethnicity while Taurus is his zodiac sign.
David Attenborough was born as the second of three sons of Mary Attenborough(mother) and Frederick Levi Attenborough(father). His mother, Mary was a founding member of the Marriage Guidance Council, while his father, Frederick was a scholar and academic administrator who was principal of University College, Leicester, and also had written a standard text on Anglo-Saxon law. Born and raised as the second child of his parents, David spent his childhood collecting fossils, stones, and natural specimens.
He grew up along with his older brother, Richard Samuel Attenborough, who was an English actor, filmmaker, and entrepreneur and was also the president of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art(RADA) and the British Academy of Film and Television Arts(BAFTA), and his younger brother, John Michael Attenborough, who was an English executive in the motor industry. He also had two foster sisters from Germany whom his parents fostered during the Second World War.
David had developed an interest in nature at a young age, and even received encouragement when he was 7 after a young Jacquetta Hawkes admired his “museum”. He took the time to take trips to local marshes and fields to observe reptiles and birds. He along with his brother Richard attended a lecture by Grey Owl at De Montfort Hall, Leicester, and was influenced by his advocacy of conservation back in 1936.
Attenborough brothers attended Wyggeston Grammar School for Boys in Leicester and later he won a scholarship to Clare College, Cambridge in 1945, where he studied geology and zoology and got graduated obtaining a degree in natural sciences.
Soon after his graduation, David was called up for national service in the Royal Navy where he spent two years stationed in North Wales and the Firth of Forth. After leaving the Navy, Attenborough got his first postcollegiate job at the London publishing house, “Hodder & Stoughton”.
David Attenborough Career Legacy
- David Attenborough began his professional career as a radio talk producer at BBC in 1950. After Mary Adams offered him a course, he joined the BBC full-time in 1952.
- His early projects included the quiz show, Animal, Vegetable, Mineral? and Song Hunter.
- He then produced and presented the three-part series, “Animal Patterns”.
- In 1954, his first featured major program titled “Zoo Quest” was broadcasted.
- In 1960, he resigned from the permanent staff of the BBC to study for a postgraduate degree in social anthropology at the London School of Economics.
- He returned as the controller of BBC Two in March 1965.
- He then filmed elephants in Tanzania, and in 1969 he made a three-part series on the cultural history of the Indonesian island of Bali.
- He commissioned many programs including “Man Alive”, “Call My Bluff”, “Chronicle”, “Match of the Day”, “The Old Grey Whistle Test”, “Monty Python’s Flying Circus” and “The Money Programme”.
- In 1969, he was promoted to director of programs, making him responsible for the output of both BBC channels.
- Later, he resigned from the position and became a freelance broadcaster and immediately started work on his next project. It resulted in the 1973 series, “Eastwards with Attenborough”.
- Beginning with “Life on Earth” in 1979, he set a benchmark of quality in wildlife film-making and influenced a generation of documentary film-makers.
- Many of his presented and created works includes “The Living Planet”, “The Trials of Life”, “Life in the Freezer”, “The Private Life of Plants”, latter earning him a Peabody Award, “The Life of Mammals” and “Life in the Undergrowth”.
- In 1998, he wrote and presented another BBC nature documentary series, “The Life of Birds” on the theme of behavior winning him another second Peabody Award.
- His first broadcast in the UK in 2008 titled documentary series, “Life in Cold Blood” and “Life on Land”.
- In 2010, Attenborough asserted that his documentary series titled “First Life” and “Attenborough’s Journey”.
- Attenborough demonstrated his passion for fossils in “Lost Worlds, Vanished Lives” in 1989.
- He narrated every episode of Wildlife on One, a BBC One wildlife series that ran for 253 episodes between 1977 and 2005.
- In 2009, he co-wrote and narrated “Life”, a ten-part series, and later introduced and narrated the Unit’s first 4K production, “Life Story”.
- He also contributed a program about the plight of endangered species to the BBC’s Saving Planet Earth project in 2007.
- Attenborough has narrated three series of David Attenborough’s Natural Curiosities for UKTV channel Watch.
- He also has worked as one of the presenters of BBC Radio 4’s “Tweet of the Day” on the radio.
- “Blue Planet II”, a British nature documentary series on marine life narrated and presented by himself in 2017 gained the highest UK viewing figure for 2017, 14.1 million.
- In 2019, he narrated an eight-part documentary series, “Our Planet” for Netflix.
- He then presented a 2019 British documentary, “Climate Change – The Facts” about the science of climate change and possible solutions.
- It was followed by a 2020 BBC One documentary on the human-driven sixth mass extinction, “Extinction: The Facts” also presented by Attenborough.
- Attenborough also worked on two environmentally themed musicals with the WWF and writers Peter Rose and Anne Conlon in 1983.
- He was appointed as patron of the UK’s Blood Pressure Association in 2005.
- “David Attenborough’s Life Stories”, a series of monologues written and spoken by British broadcaster David Attenborough on the subject of natural history was also released.
- He also has written several nature books, including “The Private Life of Plants”(1995) and “The Life of Birds”(1998), and also had released an autobiography, “Life on Air: Memoirs of a Broadcaster”(2002).
Awards and Honors
- Cherry Kearton Medal and Award (1972)
- BAFTA Fellowship (1980)
- Kalinga Prize (1981)
- Kew International Medal (1996)
- International Cosmos Prize (2000)
- RSPB Medal (2000)
- Michael Faraday Prize (2003)
- José Vasconcelos World Award of Education (2004)
- Descartes Prize (2004)
- Nierenberg Prize (2005)
- Princess of Asturias Award (2009)
- Fonseca Prize (2010)
- Attenborough has collected over 32 honorary degrees from British universities. It includes an Honorary Doctorate from Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University and Nottingham Trent University.
- Over 20 species and genera(both living and extinct) have been named in his honor including a prehistoric animal, the Attenborosaurus, named after him in 1993.
- Won the Culture Show’s Living Icon Award in 2007.
- Named among the 100 Greatest Britons in a 2002 BBC poll
- One of the top ten “Heroes of Our Time”
- Awarded the freedom of the city of Bristol
- Knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1985.
- Has been called “the great communicator, the peerless educator” and “the greatest broadcaster of our time.”
David Attenborough Wife
David Attenborough got married just once throughout his life till the age of 90. His first and the only marriage was with his beautiful wife, Jane Elizabeth Ebsworth Oriel with whom he got happily married in 1950. However, just after 47 years of their marriage, Oriel sadly died in 1997 from a brain hemorrhage.
Since then, David has been living a widower life along with their children. The couple had two children, a son named Robert and a daughter, Susan. Their son, Robert is a senior lecturer in bioanthropology for the School of Archaeology and Anthropology at the Australian National University in Canberra, while daughter, Susan is a former primary school headmistress.
Following the death of his wife, David spoke his heart out to Radio Times with a statement that reads: “You accommodate things..you deal with things. I’m quite used to solitude in the wilds, but, no, an empty house is now what I enjoy. But my daughter’s there. In moments of grief, deep grief, the only consolation you can find is in the natural world.”
In September 2020, Attenborough made a blasting debut on Instagram landing him the Guinness World Record for the fastest time to reach 1 million followers in just 4 hours and 44 minutes, previously held by Jennifer Aniston back in 2019. Since then, his followers have more than quadrupled.
David Attenborough Net Worth
David Attenborough has quite great earnings from his professional career as a broadcaster and natural historian. Having his career started in the year 1951, Attenborough who always had an interest in animals and living nature pursued his career whichever way he liked to, and never stepped back from pursuing his dreams.
Attenborough’s contribution to broadcasting and wildlife film-making brought him international recognition marking him more earnings and profits from all sides. Also regarded as a national treasure in the UK, Attenborough has undoubtedly managed to amass a healthy fortune from his 60 years long career in a wide field of broadcasting, writing, filming, and especially as a natural historian.
With his marvelous piece of work for decades, Attenborough has a well-maintained million worth net worth which is estimated to be around $35 million.
David Attenborough Height
David Attenborough is a good looking man in his 90s. He stands tall with a height of 5ft. 10inch.(1.78m) while his body weighs around 78kg. He has a fair complexion with white hair and blue eyes.