The dive industry has lost a true legend in the form of underwater photography pioneer Jerry Greenberg, who has died after a long career in the diving world.
He began photographing marine life way back in 1946, and began designing and manufacturing underwater camera housings from 1953. Lacking any instruction on underwater photography, in 1956 he decided to bring out his own guide, establishing Seahawk Press. Thereafter he and his wife, artist and writer Idaz Greenberg, began to publish books, cards and other products. As innovators of the first waterproof marine life identification cards, their work has been sold around the world.
Jerry’s work has appeared in Sports Illustrated, Argosy, and Lifemagazine, and along with photo essays in National Geographic, his images graced that iconic magazine cover several times.
Jerry was documenting the reefs of the Florida Keys before the creation of America’s first undersea park, John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park. In his first photo essay for National Geographic in 1962, the park area spanned 75 miles. After his 1990 follow-up article with writer Fred Ward, which was entitled ‘The Coral Reefs of Florida Are Imperiled’, the alarm was sounded, and today 2,900 square miles of reef are protected.
In 2004, Jerry was inducted into the International Scuba Diving Hall of Fame, and in 2019 he received the prestigious NOGI Award for Distinguished Service.