David Attenborough Bio
David grew up in an academic setting, indeed the campus of the University of Leicester was his playground. He spent his childhood as a collector - fossils, rocks, and so, and this ignited a lifelong love of the natural world.
He attended the Wyggeston Grammar School for Boys in Leicester, and then went to Clare College, Cambridge in 1945, after having earned a scholarship. There, he studied geology and zoology and received a degree in Natural Sciences.
In England from 1947 to 1960, young men were required to spend two years in the National Service. David went into the service in 1947 and spent two years in the Navy. His duty stations were in North Wales, and later the Firth of Forth (an estuary in Scotland).
David married his only wife, Jane Oriel, in 1950, and they would remain married until her death in 1997. They had two children, Robert and Susan.
David worked a variety of jobs, while trying to get into the BBC, where he was hired full time in 1952. Originally he served as a producer for non-fiction broadcasts. In 1954, he had to fill in for an ill presenter, for a TV show called Zoo Quest. This was his first time before the cameras.
In the early 1960s, David left the BBC to work toward a postgraduate degree in social anthropology, and then returned in 1965 as Controller for a channel that had been just launched the previous year, BBC Two. Under David's leadership, it became a success. At the same time, he continued to produce and narrate his nature programs. BBC Two's slate of documentaries became famous world wide.
In 1969, for three years he was controller of both BBC channels, but he found the administration work not too his taste, and resigned to go back to producing and narrating natural history documentaries, which he did on a freelance basis.
Life on Earth was the documentary that "made" Attenborough's name worldwide for the first time, in 1979. It was produced by the BBC and Turner Network Television. In 1984 came The Living Planet, and in 1990, the Trial of Life.
David continues to produce and narrate documentaries to this day, and has accumulated a host of awards for them. He has also served the cause of environmentalism for many years.
For example, in 1983, he collaborated on an environmentally themed musical, Yanomamo, about the Amazon rainforest, and in 1991, Ocean World. He has also given his assistance to many other environmental causes, such as Butterfly Conservation, ARKive, World Land Trust, and Optimum Population Trust. (David believes that human overpopulation is a major cause of today's problems.)
David is an agnostic.
In a 2009 interview he stated, "My view is: I don't know one way
or the other but I don't think that evolution is against a belief in God."
(Agnostics believe there may or may not be a God, they want to see proof,
whereas atheists don't believe in a God at all.)