David Attenborough Biography: Age, Spouse, Net Worth, Books, Movie, Wikipedia, Children, Parents

Posted By Johnson Ajiboye February 27, 2024

David Attenborough is a British broadcaster, biologist, natural historian, and author who has written and presented some of the most influential and acclaimed natural history documentaries for over six decades.

His voice and vision have brought the wonders and challenges of the natural world to millions of viewers around the globe, inspiring generations of conservationists, scientists, and nature lovers.

He is best known for his Life series, a comprehensive survey of animal and plant life on Earth, and his recent work on the impact of human activity on the environment.

He is widely regarded as a national treasure in the UK and a global icon of environmentalism.


  • Full name: Sir David Frederick Attenborough
  • Date of birth: May 8, 1926
  • Age: 98 years old
  • Gender: Male
  • Place of birth: Isleworth, Middlesex, England
  • Nationality: British
  • Profession: Broadcaster, biologist, natural historian, author
  • Height: 5 ft 10 in (178 cm)
  • Parents: Frederick Attenborough (father), Mary Attenborough (mother)
  • Siblings: Richard Attenborough (brother), John Attenborough (brother)
  • Spouse: Jane Elizabeth Ebsworth Oriel (married 1950, died 1997)
  • Children: Robert Attenborough (son), Susan Attenborough (daughter)
  • Relationship status: Widowed
  • Net worth: $35 million

Early Life & Education

David Attenborough, now 98 years old, was born on May 8, 1926, in Isleworth, Middlesex, England. He was the youngest of three sons of Frederick Attenborough, a scholar and principal of University College, Leicester, and Mary Attenborough, a writer and suffragette.

He grew up in Leicester, fascinated with natural history, collecting fossils, stones, and other specimens.

He attended Wyggeston Grammar School for Boys and then Clare College, Cambridge, where he studied geology and zoology, graduating with a natural sciences degree in 1947.

He also served in the Royal Navy for two years during World War II and later said that the experience made him appreciate the value of peace and the fragility of life.

Personal Life

David Attenborough married Jane Elizabeth Ebsworth Oriel, a former grammar school teacher, in 1950.

They had two children, Robert and Susan, who followed their father’s footsteps into science and education. The family lived in Richmond, London, where they had a large garden Attenborough filled with exotic plants and animals.

He often took his children on travels worldwide, exposing them to different cultures and wildlife. He described his wife as “the brains of the family” and credited her with supporting his career and raising their children.

Jane died in 1997 after suffering a brain hemorrhage, leaving Attenborough devastated. He has since remained single, saying he does not want to “inflict” himself on anyone else.


David Attenborough began his career in 1950 when he joined the BBC as a trainee producer. He soon became involved in producing educational and cultural programs, such as Animal, Vegetable, Mineral? and Song Hunter.

In 1954, he launched his first natural history series, Zoo Quest, where he traveled to various countries to film and collect animals for the London Zoo.

The series was a huge success and established Attenborough as a popular presenter and wildlife expert.

He continued to make several series and specials for the BBC, such as The People of Paradise, The Miracle of Bali, and The Tribal Eye, exploring the diversity of human cultures and civilizations.

In 1965, Attenborough became the controller of BBC Two, the BBC’s new second channel. He introduced a range of innovative and influential programs, such as The Forsyte Saga, Civilisation, The Ascent of Man, and Monty Python’s Flying Circus.

He also commissioned the first color television broadcasts in the UK and supported the development of natural history filmmaking. He became the director of programs for BBC Television in 1969, overseeing both BBC One and BBC Two, but resigned in 1973 to return to his passion for natural history.

Attenborough then embarked on his most ambitious project, Life on Earth, a 13-part series that traced the evolution of life on the planet.

The series, which took three years to make and involved filming in 30 countries, was broadcast in 1979 and became one of the most watched and acclaimed programs in the history of television.

It was followed by several other series that formed the Life collection, such as The Living Planet, The Trials of Life, The Life of Birds, The Life of Mammals, Life in the Undergrowth, and Life in Cold Blood.

These series, which spanned over 30 years and covered all major groups of living organisms, were praised for their scientific accuracy, stunning cinematography, engaging narration, and environmental message.

Attenborough also collaborated with the BBC Natural History Unit on other landmark series, such as The Blue Planet, Planet Earth, Frozen Planet, Africa, Madagascar, and Seven Worlds, One Planet, which showcased the diversity and beauty of the world’s ecosystems and habitats.

He also worked with other broadcasters and platforms, such as ITV, Sky, Netflix, and Apple TV, on series such as The Private Life of Plants, Kingdom of Plants, Galapagos, Conquest of the Skies, Our Planet, A Perfect Planet, and The Green Planet.

He also wrote and narrated several feature films, including Flying Monsters, The Bachelor King, One Life, Galapagos 3D, David Attenborough’s Natural History Museum Alive, and David Attenborough: A Life on Our Planet.

In addition to his work on television and film, Attenborough has also written numerous books, articles, and essays on natural history, conservation, and the environment.

He has also been involved in various educational and charitable initiatives, such as the World Wildlife Fund, the Royal Society for Nature Conservation, the British Museum, the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, the Eden Project, and the David Attenborough Building.

He has also been a patron, president, or trustee of several organizations, such as the Royal Society, the Zoological Society of London, the British Trust for Ornithology, the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust, and the Royal Geographical Society.


David Attenborough has received numerous awards and honors for his work and achievements. He has won over 30 BAFTA awards, including the Fellowship and the Specialist Factual Award.

He has also won three Emmy awards, two Peabody awards, a Kalinga Prize, a Descartes Prize, a Princess of Asturias Award, a Fonseca Prize, and a Nierenberg Prize.

He has been knighted by Queen Elizabeth II and appointed to the Order of Merit, the Order of the Companions of Honour and the Order of St Michael and St George.

He has also received over 30 honorary degrees from various universities and institutions. He has had several species and places named after him, such as the Attenborough’s long-beaked echidna, the Attenborough’s pitcher plant, the Attenborough’s fan-throated lizard, the Attenborough’s titanosaur and the Attenborough Research Station.


David Attenborough has faced controversy and criticism for his views and actions. Some of his critics have accused him of being a hypocrite, a racist, a misanthrope, a sensationalist, a propagandist, or a liar.

Some of the issues that have sparked controversy include:

His stance on population control and family planning, which some have seen as anti-human, anti-poor, or anti-religious.

He has argued that human population growth is one of the main causes of environmental degradation and that voluntary measures to reduce fertility and consumption are necessary to achieve a sustainable balance between humans and nature.

He has also supported organizations that promote reproductive health and rights, such as Population Matters and Marie Stopes International.

His involvement in the production and funding of some of his programs, which some have seen as a conflict of interest, a breach of editorial independence, or a form of political lobbying.

He has collaborated with various organizations, such as the WWF, the RSPB, the Eden Project, and the World Land Trust, to raise awareness and funds for conservation and environmental causes.

He has also received grants and donations from various sources, such as the National Lottery, the European Union, and the Wellcome Trust, to support his projects. He has defended his partnerships and sources of funding.

His portrayal and editing of some of the scenes and events in his programs, which some have seen as misleading, inaccurate, staged, or manipulated.

He has been accused of using artificial sounds, lighting, props, models, animations, or editing techniques to enhance his footage’s drama, beauty, or impact.

He has also been accused of omitting or distorting some of the facts, causes, or consequences of some of the phenomena or behaviors he depicts.

He has admitted that some of his programs have used creative methods to achieve the best possible results, but he has denied that they have compromised his work’s truth or integrity.

His views and actions on climate change, which some have seen as too alarmist, too optimistic, too late, or too biased.

He has been criticized for not addressing the issue of climate change earlier or more forcefully in his programs or for being too soft or too selective on the causes and solutions of the problem.

He has also been criticized for his carbon footprint, as he has traveled extensively worldwide for his work and used fossil fuels and other resources.

He has acknowledged that he has contributed to the problem but has also argued that he has tried to raise awareness and inspire action on the issue.

Social Media

  • Instagram handle: @davidattenborough
  • Twitter handle: N/A
  • YouTube channel: David Attenborough Documentaries


David Attenborough has written and narrated over 100 programs and films on natural history and the environment.

Some of his most notable works include:

  • Zoo Quest
  • The People of Paradise
  • The Miracle of Bali
  • The Tribal Eye
  • Life on Earth
  • The Living Planet
  • The Trials of Life
  • The Private Life of Plants
  • The Life of Birds
  • The Blue Planet
  • The Life of Mammals
  • Life in the Undergrowth
  • Planet Earth
  • Life in Cold Blood
  • Frozen Planet
  • Africa
  • Madagascar
  • Galapagos
  • David Attenborough’s Natural History Museum Alive
  • Conquest of the Skies
  • The Hunt
  • Planet Earth II
  • Blue Planet II
  • Dynasties
  • Our Planet
  • Seven Worlds, One Planet
  • David Attenborough: A Life on Our Planet
  • A Perfect Planet
  • The Green Planet


David Attenborough has also written and published several books on natural history and the environment, such as:

  • Zoo Quest to Guyana (1956)
  • Quest in Paradise (1960)
  • Zoo Quest for a Dragon (1960)
  • Quest Under Capricorn (1963)
  • Fabulous Animals (1975)
  • Life on Earth (1979)
  • The Living Planet (1984)
  • The Trials of Life (1990)
  • The Private Life of Plants (1995)
  • The Life of Birds (1998)
  • The Life of Mammals (2002)
  • Life in the Undergrowth (2005)
  • Life in Cold Blood (2008)
  • David Attenborough’s Life Stories (2009)
  • David Attenborough’s New Life Stories (2011)
  • Drawn from Paradise (2012)
  • Adventures of a Young Naturalist (2017)

Net Worth

According to various sources, David Attenborough’s net worth is around $35 million.

This was mainly derived from his salary and earnings from his television and film projects, books, and other ventures.

He has also donated some of his wealth to various causes and charities, such as the World Land Trust, the Fauna and Flora International, and the Population Matters.

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