My Journal



Genie: The life and Recollections of Eugenie Clark

I would like to introduce you to the new book entitled «Genie: The life and Recollections of Eugenie Clark» written by Dr José I Castro and published by the Save Our Seas Foundation.

Genie’s groundbreaking studies of sharks and her efforts to protect them earned her the nickname ‘Shark Lady’. She explored and studied the underwater world from the Caribbean to the Red Sea, from the surface of the ocean to its depths in submarines, and in doing so she inspired generations of marine biologists, conservationists and divers worldwide. First, though, she had to ensure that her discoveries were brought to the attention of the general public. Her vehicles to achieve this were her own two books, Lady with a Spear and The Lady and the Sharks, as well as articles for National Geographic and other popular magazines.

Genie: The Life and Recollections of Eugenie Clark goes a step further. Its author, Dr José I. Castro, was fortunate to know Genie better than most, spending countless hours talking with her in her office at the Mote Marine Laboratory and while driving her from home to work and back. Although this book has been published posthumously, the intimate stories of Genie’s life and work come from the notes and recordings José took of Genie’s own words over many years.

I hope that the legacy of Genie’s pioneering life will not only inspire many more scientists and conservationists to follow in her footsteps, but also embolden everyone to step beyond society’s norms to follow their dreams and to always pursue the exploration of our wonderful planet.


Eugenie Clark, among the most remarkable of female scientists of the 20th century, was born in New York in 1922. Although from humble origins, she became one of the most successful American scientists of her time and a celebrated professor at the University of Maryland. She also earned fame as a female diver, whose exploits underwater are the stuff of legends, even though they were grounded in scientific curiosity rather than a desire for adventure. It was this curiosity that led Genie to study fishes in their environment in ways never before attempted and to pioneer keeping sharks in captivity and conducting some of the first behavioral studies on them.

Her personal life was no less adventurous: after five husbands, she wanted to marry again at the age of 88. Liked and admired by most who knew her, she interacted with a galaxy of interesting people and was a close friend of Nobel laureates, princes, and emperors. Honors were bestowed upon her from the early 1950s onwards, and continued to roll in long after her death. Until her last days, Genie continued to dive and to write scientific papers; her final publication appeared a year after her death, at the age of 92, in February 2015.

This book is based on Eugenie Clark’s recollections, on the accounts and anecdotes of her friends, and on research by her long-time friend and fellow scientist, José I. Castro, Ph.D. According to the author, he wrote the book “because I was the one who knew the whole story, and I could not allow it to be lost. It had to be written now.”


Author Biography

A naturalist, research biologist, writer, and editor, José I. Castro holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of Miami and a Ph.D. from Clemson University. He has been with National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) since 1989. As a fisheries biologist and shark specialist, he has conducted most of his research on sharks and their reproductive processes and has written extensively about those subjects and about the history of the fisheries. He is the scientific editor of Fishery Bulletin, one of the oldest scientific journals in the USA. José met Genie in 1980 while working on his first book about sharks. His last book was The Sharks of North America, for which Genie wrote the foreword. He worked with her on several projects and lectured at her classes. From the year 2000 they were both based at Mote Marine Laboratory in Sarasota and worked in neighboring offices. José chose to write this book because he feared that knowledge about Genie, as well as her wonderful stories, would be lost if not written down now.

Table of Content

  • Introduction | Acknowledgments
  • Sponsor’s foreword
  • Chapter 1 | Family origins
  • Chapter 2 | Early years
  • Chapter 3 | Education
  • Chapter 4 | The war years
  • Chapter 5 | First marriage
  • Chapter 6 | The making of a scientist
  • Chapter 7 | The study of fishes
  • Chapter 8 | Scripps, La Jolla
  • Chapter 9 | The American Museum of Natural History
  • Chapter 10 | The Bahamas
  • Chapter 11 | Fieldwork in the Pacific
  • Chapter 12 | Marriage and a scholarship
  • Chapter 13 | The Red Sea
  • Chapter 14 | Literary success
  • Chapter 15 | Cape Haze Marine Laboratory
  • Chapter 16 | Ilias’s gold
  • Chapter 17 | Jacques-Yves Cousteau
  • Chapter 18 | Travels to Israel and Ethiopia
  • Chapter 19 | Japan
  • Chapter 20 | Chandler Brossard
  • Chapter 21 | The future emperor of Japan
  • Chapter 22 | University life
  • Chapter 23 | Marriage to Igor
  • Chapter 24 | Fieldwork in the Red Sea
  • Chapter 25 | Genie stories
  • Chapter 26 | The Red Sea again
  • Chapter 27 | Remarkable expeditions
  • Chapter 28 | Remarkable fishes
  • Chapter 29 | Interlude with Yoppe
  • Chapter 30 | A sense of impending death
  • Chapter 31 | A new love
  • Chapter 32 | “Last” expeditions
  • Chapter 33 | A lifetime of achievement
  • Index


Published by the Save Our Seas Foundation (SOSF) | saveourseas.com

First Printing | 2020

ISBN (Print) 978-2-9701310-0-7

ISBN (Digital) 978-2-9701310-1-4

Editor-in-chief | Michael C. Scholl

Author | José I. Castro

Copy Editing and Proofreading | Leni Martin

Cover Illustration Copyright © 2020: Gregory Gilbert-Lodge | gilbert-lodge.com

Portrait Illustrations Copyright © 2020: Keith Witmer | keithwitmer.com

Reproduction by BBH Solutions Visuelles SNC, Vevey, Switzerland

Printed by CPI – Ebner and Spiegel, Ulm, Germany | cpibooks.com



376 pages

Weight 1.875 lbs | 850 g

Dimensions 9.8 × 6.75 × 1.5 in | 250 x 170 x 38 mm

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