Ballard Mobile Profile

Robert Ballard

Underwater Explorer

Best known for his 1985 discovery of the Titanic shipwreck, National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Robert Ballard is a veteran of more than 125 expeditions, many in search of lost ships and ancient artifacts. He is president of the Institute for Exploration in Mystic, Connecticut, and director of the Institute for Archaeological Oceanography at the University of Rhode Island.


A pioneer in the early use of deep-diving submarines, he was on the first manned expedition of the largest mountain range on Earth, the Mid-Ocean Ridge. Later he lead an expedition off the Galápagos Islands that discovered new life-forms on Earth, a discovery that has revolutionized our understanding of the origin of life on our planet and increased the likelihood of discovering life elsewhere in the solar system. Following his discovery of the Titanic, he went to find other lost legends in the sea including the German battleship Bismarck, the aircraft carrier Yorktown lost during the Battle of Midway, and President Kennedy’s PT-109. His recent Return to Titanic special on the National Geographic Channel was the highest rated show in their history.


Ballard, a former naval officer, is the recipient of numerous awards, including six military honors, The Explorers Club Medal, and National Geographic’s highest award, the Hubbard Medal. In his presentations, Ballard shares stories of his underwater adventures and his vision of how technology can continue to advance the frontiers of exploration.

Highlights & Accomplishments
National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence
Best known for his discovery of the RMS Titanic in 1985, 70+ years after it sank in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.
Discovered hydro-thermal vents
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Ballard BioPortrait

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