Robert Ballard

  • Discoverer of the Titanic
  • Founder and President, Ocean Exploration Trust
  • Director, Center of Ocean Exploration

Watery images of the once-glorious Titanic were some of the most enchanting and enthralling images of recent years, something most people only dream of seeing in real life. For Robert Ballard they represented a concrete accomplishment, and just one in a series of triumphs.

World-famous for his discovery of the Titanic and the Bismark, Ballard leads audiences on a journey to plumb some of history’s greatest mysteries. Ballard’s adventurous spirit is matched by a practical and hugely successful approach to goal setting, team building and execution. The skills that led to his headline-grabbing accomplishments are the same skills that now lead people from all walks of life toward a realization of their dreams.

A renowned scientist and explorer, he is the author of 16 books, including Discovery of the Titanic, and Collision with History: The Search for John F. Kennedy’s PT 109. After many years of exploring ancient history in the Mediterranean and Black Seas with the discovery of the largest concentration of ancient Roman ships ever found under the sea, most recently Ballard has turned his sights on the Pacific ocean and his team and ship of exploration, E/V Nautilus are working off the west coast of the US. 

 
  

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Rave Reviews About Robert Ballard
Dr. Ballard's program went very well and the 350 or so people who attended really enjoyed his program. Dr. Vora and I received many favorable comments about his program and as to how personable and gracious he was in talking with our guests and picture taking. I have to say that I enjoyed his program much more than last year's speaker and can say that everything went smooth and it was a pleasure working with you.

A Sample of the Groups That Have Hosted Robert Ballard
  • Campbell Soup Company
  • Metaswitch
  • Kirit Vora, M.D., President of Medical Staff, William Beaumont Hospital - Troy
  • Donna K. Himick, Medical Administration, William Beaumont Hospital - Troy
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The Personal Account of How the Titanic Was Found and a Look into the Future

Dr. Ballard shares his incredible story of the significant discovery of the Titanic, the advanced technology he used for this world famous expedition and what’s the future holds for deep sea exploration. ...

Dr. Ballard shares his incredible story of the significant discovery of the Titanic, the advanced technology he used for this world famous expedition and what’s the future holds for deep sea exploration.

Deep Sea Exploration

Dr. Ballard uses the emerging science of deep water archeology to share his findings from numerous expeditions where he searched for, located and document sites of historical significance. ...

Dr. Ballard uses the emerging science of deep water archeology to share his findings from numerous expeditions where he searched for, located and document sites of historical significance.

Living The Dream

Dr. Ballard speaks about how he has turned his dreams into reality by taking risks and learning how to face failure and turn it into success. ...

Dr. Ballard speaks about how he has turned his dreams into reality by taking risks and learning how to face failure and turn it into success.

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Biography

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

While those discoveries have captured the imagination of the public, Dr. Ballard believes his most important discoveries were of hydrothermal vents and black smokers in the Galapagos Rift and East Pacific Rise in 1977 and 1979 along with their exotic life forms living off the energy of the Earth through a process now called chemosynthesis.

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

Ballard was born June 30, 1942, in Wichita, KS but moved to California at a very young age and grew up exploring the shore in San Diego. Dr. Ballard has a Ph.D. in marine geology and geophysics from the University of Rhode Island. He spent 30 years at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, where he helped develop telecommunications technology to create tele-presence for his education initiative, which allows hundreds of thousands of schoolchildren to accompany him from afar on undersea explorations around the globe each year. In 2001, he returned to the Graduate School of Oceanography at the University of Rhode Island where he is presently a tenured Professor of Oceanography and Director of the Center for Ocean Exploration.

Dr. Ballard has 21 honorary degrees and six military awards. He was also a Commander in the U.S. Naval Reserve, serving in the Navy from 1967 to 1997. He received the National Geographic Societys prestigious Hubbard Medal in 1996 for extraordinary accomplishments in coaxing secrets from the worlds oceans and engaging students in the wonder of science. In 2014, he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Dr. Ballard has published numerous books, scientific papers, and a dozen articles in National Geographic magazine. Dr. Ballard also has been featured in several National Geographic television programs, including the record-breaking Secrets of the TITANIC.

His discoveries also include sunken remains of ships along ancient trade routes in the Mediterranean Sea; two ancient Phoenician ships off Israel, the oldest shipwrecks ever found in deep water; and four 1,500- year-old wooden ships, one almost perfectly preserved in the Black Sea. Dr. Ballards Black Sea project seeks evidence of a great flood that may have struck the region thousands of years ago.

His 1997 best-selling book, Lost Liners, tells the story of the great transatlantic liners through memorable wrecks he has visited. Dr. Ballard was also a special advisor on Steven Spielbergs futuristic Sea Quest, DSV television show.

An explorer, discoverer and historian, Dr. Ballards fascinating journeys can teach us a great deal about our past, and they have encouraged others to take tremendous strides in the survey of the undiscovered mysteries of the deep sea.