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Valerie and Ron Taylor: Shark photographers turned protectors

Published 4:40 AM ET, Mon November 25, 2019
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Valerie Taylor has been diving with sharks since the 1960s, and her work as a conservationist is still inspiring others today. Scroll through the gallery for more photos of her remarkable shark encounters. Ron and Valerie Taylor
In the 1960s, Australians Valerie and Ron Taylor were competitive spear fishers. They moved into underwater photography and film making, before working to educate people about threats to the oceans and marine life. Ron and Valerie Taylor
Valerie Taylor photographing a large bull shark that has come in for bait at Shark Reef, Beqa Lagoon, Fiji. Jo Northerly
Valerie Taylor on the anchor on the wreck of the Sirius, off Norfolk Island, Australia. The Taylors found the wreck, which was considered lost, in 1963 by swimming outside the reef. Ron and Valerie Taylor
In 1969, the Taylors formed their own company, Ron Taylor Film Productions Pty Ltd. The couple played two of the main characters in the American feature documentary "Blue Water, White Death." Courtesy Ron and Valerie Taylor
Ron Taylor filming a great white shark. In the early 1970s, Ron and Valerie produced the television series "Taylor's Inner Space." This series of 13 films, featured the Taylors' encounters with the marine life of the western Pacific. Courtesy Ron and Valerie Taylor
Ron Taylor filming blue sharks off the coast of Albany, Western Australia. Courtesy Valerie & Ron Taylor
In 1979, Ron Taylor had a suit of mail made, which Valerie successfully tested against sharks in the wild. Courtesy Ron and Valerie Taylor
Valerie Taylor with blue sharks off San Diego, California. Ron & Valerie Taylor
Valerie Taylor has been bitten twice and nipped once by sharks in 40 years of diving with them -- without permanent injury. Courtesy Ron and Valerie Taylor
Tiger sharks are inclined to investigate anything on the ocean surface by biting, but are usually well behaved around divers. Courtesy Ron and Valerie Taylor
Valerie swimming with a great hammerhead shark Ron & Valerie Taylor.