David Attenborough

  • Birth Name: David Frederick Attenborough
  • Birth Place: Isleworth, England
  • Profession: Broadcaster, Writer, Director, Author
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Fast Facts

  • Developed an interest in nature at a young age, taking trips to local marshes and fields to observe reptiles and birds.
  • Spent two years in the Royal Navy.
  • Got his first postcollegiate job at the London publishing house Hodder & Stoughton.
  • Was an early champion of filming animals in their natural habitats, as opposed to television studios, and launched Zoo Quest, a program that took him all over the globe, in 1954.
  • Introduced color television to Britain as the controller of BBC2 in 1965.
  • Served as the Director of Programs for the BBC from 1969 to 1972.
  • Knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1985.
  • Had the honor of having a prehistoric animal, the Attenborosaurus, named after him in 1993.
  • Has written several nature books, including The Private Life of Plants (1995) and The Life of Birds (1998), and penned an autobiography, Life on Air: Memoirs of a Broadcaster (2002).
  • In 2012, he celebrated his 60th anniversary in broadcasting with a nature documentary series, instead of a televised dinner.


  • 1996, Emmy — Outstanding Informational Series: Nominee
  • 1985, Emmy — Outstanding Individual Achievement - Informational Programming - Writing: Nominee
  • 2014, Peabody — Personal Award: Winner
  • 2017, BAFTA Television Awards — Best Specialist Factual: Winner
  • 2014, BAFTA Television Awards — Best Specialist Factual: Winner
  • 2016, Emmy — Outstanding Narrator: Nominee


  • Charlotte Attenborough — Niece
  • Mary Attenborough — Mother
  • Susan Attenborough — Daughter
  • Michael Attenborough — Nephew
  • Jane Elizabeth Ebsworth Oriel — Wife (deceased)
  • Robert Attenborough — Son
  • John Attenborough — Brother
  • Frederick Attenborough — Father
  • Richard Attenborough — Brother


  • University of Cambridge, Clare College, Cambridge, England (BA in Natural Sciences, 1947)