The section of the world’s population that actualizes its dreams and pursues its passions is a startlingly small one. And unsurprisingly, the world’s most successful personalities belong largely to this little group. The elements that are common to all globally revered persons who leave their mark on the world by virtue of their deeds are courage, dedication and faith.
Steve Irwin is a name that few people are unaware of. Though Irwin bade farewell to the world in a freak accident in 2006, the name immediately brings to mind the image of a robust man passionately speaking into a camera, with a wild or tame animal in the forefront or background, inspiring interest on wildlife in the most inert of audiences. His infectious smile and spirit are his signatures.
What is it that motivated this man to dedicate his life to creating awareness among the masses about the beauty of wildlife and the necessity of wildlife conservation? It was his passion combined with a cast iron will to achieve a set goal that made a legend out of a child gripped with wildlife. Steve Irwin’s life is a lesson on the importance of knowing yourself, and identifying your passions, strengths and weaknesses.
Steve Irwin Life Story
Steve was born on 22 February 1962, to Lyn and Bob Irwin in Essendon, Melbourne, Victoria. His father was a wildlife expert and Steve’s parents were the founders of Queensland Reptile And Fauna Park. Introduced to crocodiles, lizards, snakes and a host of wild and tame animals from a very young age, Steve Irwin naturally developed a soft spot for fauna. Steve also displayed the flourishes of a great personality in the making with his unnatural interest in the study of animals and his awesome courage in dealing with animals. At the age of 6, Steve caught his first venomous snake. And as a young boy aged 9, wrestled with a crocodile under the supervision of his father.
Steve never looked back after his first attempts at wrestling with crocodiles. He worked at his parents’ park, feeding animals and participating in maintenance activities. Blessed to have the opportunity to grow up in an environment in perfect sync with his personal ambitions, Steve’s personal and professional lives were intricately linked till the day of his death. Steve’s wife Terre Raines Irwin shared his interests, and in fact, the couple’s honeymoon was the shooting of a documentary filming the capturing of crocodiles by Steve and his team.
Steve Irwin is best known for The Crocodile Hunter series, and the couple’s honeymoon footage was the first episode of this uber successful saga that captured the minds and hearts of millions across the globe. The show hit Australian TV in 1996, and in 1997 was lapped up by North American television. The Crocodile Hunter evolved into a show that was broadcasted in more than 130 countries, with an estimated viewership of 500 million.
Steve Irwin’s popularity spread like wildfire when his show hit TV screens across the world. This is because of the vitality that the man emanated, and the pure passion he harbored for his work was communicated through his eyes that glittered with excitement and the vibrant gesticulation of the body. Compelling the most indifferent audiences to sit up and take notice, his innate communication skills paved the path to stardom. Steve soon garnered a commendable global fan base for his fearless exploration of the world, and educating kids and adults alike about crocodiles, venomous and non-venomous snakes and a wide range of reptiles and marine life. He evolved into a different genre by himself, and utilized his popularity to spread the message of conservation among the populations of the world.
Besides his around-the-world The Crocodile Hunter documentaries, this charming wildlife expert also featured in other Animal Planet shows, including Croc Diaries, The Crocodile Hunter Diaries and New Breed Vets. He also presented The Ten Deadliest Snakes In The World. Dr. Doolittle 2, Mystery Hunters, The Crocodile Hunter: Collision Course, The Fairly Odd Parents, 5 Takes: Pacific Rim, Happy Feet, Ocean’s Deadliest and Bindi The Jungle Girl are the movies he worked for, playing himself in almost all the mentioned films.
The quality of love he received from his spell-bound audiences is evident in the shell-shocked condition of half the world on the receiving the news of his untimely, unfortunate accidental death on 4 September 2006. Irwin was filming his documentary Ocean’s Deadliest when unfavorable weather conditions lead him to decide to shoot shallow water segments required for the program his daughter Bindi was hosting. He was swimming over some sting rays, when the barbed tail of a ray shot up and pierced Steve in his heart. It was considered a rude irony of life that the man who teased deadly creatures and tricked death in the presence of some of the most fatal reptiles known to man, had to suffer an unfortunate death due to a comparatively harmless sting ray.
Steve Irwin caters to the adventurous needs of his audiences, besides quenching their thirst with dazzling pellets of information packaged in layman’s terms allowing everyone to understand him. Steve is best admired for his love for nature and his uninterrupted efforts to promote the conservation of the same. Steve reminds one that success inevitably visits those who work long and hard at what they believe in, and do not hesitate to pursue their dreams by playing on their strengths.
Steve was an environmentalist and championed for the conservation of wildlife. His spirited documentaries that captured various animals in their natural habitats served to emphasize on the importance of stalling the alarmingly fast destruction of forest cover for industrial purposes. He reminds one of the need to focus on a core objective and working systematically towards achieving the same.
Steve Irwin, too, was not spared from controversies. With individuals and groups levying a bevy of charges against him – almost all of them were dropped by courts without any charges being laid – Steve paid little attention to the mudslinging and confidently continued his benevolent work.
Photo Credit: Peter Pelliccia
Who is Steve Irwin? - Short Bio
Steve Irwin, also known as the "Crocodile Hunter," was an Australian wildlife expert, conservationist, and television personality. He was born on February 22, 1962, in Essendon, Victoria, Australia. Irwin grew up on a wildlife park in Queensland, Australia, where he developed a love for animals and a desire to protect them.
Irwin began his career as a wildlife expert and conservationist in the early 1980s, working as a wildlife demonstrator at the Queensland Reptile and Fauna Park. He went on to establish the Australia Zoo in Beerwah, Queensland.
Irwin's passion for wildlife and conservation was also reflected in his work as a television host. He hosted the popular wildlife series "The Crocodile Hunter" from 1996 to 2007, which aired in over 130 countries and made him a household name. He also hosted "The Crocodile Hunter Diaries" and "New Breed Vets."
Irwin was also actively involved in conservation efforts and wildlife research. He founded the Steve Irwin Conservation Foundation (now known as Wildlife Warriors Worldwide) to support wildlife conservation efforts around the world.
Irwin died on September 4, 2006, while filming a documentary titled "Ocean's Deadliest" in Batt Reef, Queensland, Australia. He was stung multiple times by a stingray, which caused him to suffer a heart attack. His death was a great loss to the conservation community and his legacy lives on through the continued work of his family and the organizations he founded.
Steve Irwin Fast Facts
* Steve Irwin, also known as the "Crocodile Hunter," was an Australian wildlife expert, conservationist, and television personality.
* He was born on February 22, 1962, in Essendon, Victoria, Australia.
* Irwin grew up on a wildlife park in Queensland, Australia, where he developed a love for animals and a desire to protect them.
* He began his career as a wildlife expert and conservationist in the early 1980s, working as a wildlife demonstrator at the Queensland Reptile and Fauna Park.
* He went on to establish the Australia Zoo in Beerwah, Queensland.
* Irwin's passion for wildlife and conservation was also reflected in his work as a television host. He hosted the popular wildlife series "The Crocodile Hunter" from 1996 to 2007, which aired in over 130 countries and made him a household name.
* He also hosted "The Crocodile Hunter Diaries" and "New Breed Vets."
* Irwin was also actively involved in conservation efforts and wildlife research. He founded the Steve Irwin Conservation Foundation (now known as Wildlife Warriors Worldwide) to support wildlife conservation efforts around the world.
* Irwin died on September 4, 2006, while filming a documentary titled "Ocean's Deadliest" in Batt Reef, Queensland, Australia. He was stung multiple times by a stingray, which caused him to suffer a heart attack.
* His death was a great loss to the conservation community and his legacy lives on through the continued work of his family and the organizations he founded.
* He was awarded the Centenary Medal by the Australian government for his services to Australian society and international conservation in 2001.
* Irwin was also an author of several books, including "The Crocodile Hunter: The Incredible Life and Adventures of Steve Irwin"
* His wife Terri, and children Bindi and Robert, continue to run Australia Zoo and also contribute to wildlife conservation through various organizations.
Steve Irwin Life Highlights
Early Life and Background
Stephen Robert Irwin, known as Steve Irwin, was born on his mother's 20th birthday on February 22, 1962, in Upper Ferntree Gully, a suburb of Melbourne, Australia. His parents, Lynette “Lyn” Hakainsson and Bob Irwin, both had English and Irish ancestry, with some Swedish heritage on his mother's side. His great-great-grandfather, Joseph Irwin, had settled in Tasmania, Australia, in the 1870s. Steve had two sisters named Joy and Mandy. His family moved to Queensland in 1970, where he attended Landsborough State School and Caloundra State High School. His father was a wildlife expert with a focus on herpetology, and his mother was a wildlife rehabilitator. Together, his parents started the Queensland Reptile and Fauna Park, which later became Australia Zoo. Steve grew up around crocodiles and other reptiles, being actively involved in the park's activities from a young age.
Formative Years and Involvement with Wildlife
Steve's connection with wildlife began early in life. By the age of six, he was already given a 12-foot scrub python as a gift, and he started handling crocodiles under his father's guidance when he was just nine years old. He even wrestled his first crocodile at the same age. As a volunteer for Queensland's East Coast Crocodile Management program, he captured over 100 crocodiles, many of which were relocated or housed at the family park. In 1991, Steve took over the management of the park, eventually renaming it Australia Zoo in 1998.
Career: The Crocodile Hunter and Beyond
Steve's career skyrocketed when he and his wife Terri embarked on a honeymoon adventure to trap crocodiles, an endeavor captured on film that became the first episode of their iconic TV show, "The Crocodile Hunter." The show debuted in 1996 in Australia and later reached international audiences. His enthusiastic presenting style, khaki shorts, and catchphrase 'Crikey!' became his trademarks. The show's success led to further documentaries, including "Croc Files," "The Crocodile Hunter Diaries," and "New Breed Vets." Steve's legacy extended to his daughter Bindi Sue Irwin, who continued his conservation efforts with her own show, "Bindi the Jungle Girl."
Other Endeavors and Contributions
In addition to his TV work, Steve ventured into other media projects. He presented documentaries about dangerous snakes, appeared on various talk shows, and even starred in the film "The Crocodile Hunter: Collision Course" in 2002. He was dedicated to conservation and environmental causes, founding organizations like the Steve Irwin Conservation Foundation, later known as Wildlife Warriors Worldwide. He also advocated for responsible tourism and against illegal poaching.
Tragic Passing and Legacy
Tragically, Steve Irwin's life was cut short on September 4, 2006, when he was fatally pierced by a short-tail stingray while filming a documentary. His death was met with shock and sorrow worldwide. A private funeral service and later a public memorial service were held to honor his memory. Steve Irwin's legacy lives on through his family's continued conservation efforts, Australia Zoo, and the countless people he inspired to appreciate and protect the natural world.
Environmentalism and Sports
Beyond his media career, Steve was an impassioned conservationist. He stressed the importance of conservation and habitat preservation, working on various initiatives and foundations to protect endangered species. He was a prominent advocate against poaching and land clearing. Steve's influence on environmentalism went beyond preaching, as he aimed to ignite people's excitement about the natural world.
Steve's sporting interests were diverse, ranging from his love for mixed martial arts to his avid support of cricket, Australian rules football, rugby league, and rugby union. His involvement in various sports and his genuine enthusiasm left a mark on his fans and supporters.
Media Campaigns and Humanitarian Acts
Steve Irwin was involved in numerous media campaigns promoting Australia's quarantine regulations and tourism. He became the ambassador for The Ghan, a train traveling through the Australian outback. He played a significant role in boosting Queensland tourism and served as a promoter of Australian culture and wildlife abroad.
In a heroic act of humanitarianism, Steve and his crew halted their operations to aid in the search for missing scuba divers off the coast of Mexico in 2003. His dedication and compassion shone through as he joined the search and rescue efforts, showcasing his commitment to saving lives beyond his work with animals.
Steve Irwin's life and legacy are characterized by his boundless enthusiasm for wildlife, conservation, and spreading awareness about the natural world. His impact on popularizing environmentalism, his remarkable television career, and his genuine dedication to making a difference continue to inspire people globally.
Steve Irwin Best Quotes
"I believe that education is all about being excited about something. Seeing passion and enthusiasm helps push an educational message."
"Crikey means gee whiz, wow!"
"Yeah, for some reason parrots have to bite me. That's their job. I don't know why that is. They've nearly torn my nose off. I've had some really bad parrot bites."
"So now what happens is the cameras follow me around and capture exactly what I've been doing since I was a boy. Only now we have a team of, you know, like 73 of us, and it's gone beyond that."
"I am optimistic globally. So many scientists are working frantically on the reparation of our planet."
"Education is all about being excited about something. Seeing passion and enthusiasm helps push an educational message." (Meaning)
"I believe sustainable use is the greatest propaganda in wildlife conservation at the moment."
"Snakes are just very instinctive to me. I've been playing with snakes since before I could walk. It doesn't matter where or what it is, from the biggest to the most venomous."
"There's a lot of research behind the scenes that you don't get to see, but I have an instinct that my dad nurtured from when I was born. I was very lucky then."
"I have no fear of losing my life - if I have to save a koala or a crocodile or a kangaroo or a snake, mate, I will save it."
"I believe our biggest issue is the same biggest issue that the whole world is facing, and that's habitat destruction."
"Take the crocodile, for example, my favorite animal. There are 23 species. Seventeen of those species are rare or endangered. They're on the way out, no matter what anyone does or says, you know."
"I bled a lot. I got hit across the face. We couldn't film for seven days. I got hit, whacked, underwater, across the face. I finished the shot, got into the boat and blood started coming out."
"So fear helps me from making mistakes, but I make lot of mistakes."
"When I talk to the camera, mate, it's not like I'm talking to the camera, I'm talking to you because I want to whip you around and plunk you right there with me."
"So, my tactic with conservation of apex predators is to get people excited and take them to where they live."
"The first crocodile I ever caught was at nine years of age, and it was a rescue."
"Yeah, I think it's an absolute disaster that Australia, the government, allowed kangaroo culling."
"I've probably saved thousands of peoples' lives with my educational message on snake bites, how to get in around venomous anything."
"That might have a lot to do with it, but you know, I probably don't show fear, but I suffer from fear like everyone else."
"You know, I'm Australian, and we have got the worst sense of humor. We are cruel to each other."
"The only animals I'm not comfortable with are parrots, but I'm learning as I go. I'm getting better and better at 'em. I really am."
"No, snakes are no problem. I'd go to any country, anywhere, any snakes, not a problem."
"You know, you can touch a stick of dynamite, but if you touch a venomous snake it'll turn around and bite you and kill you so fast it's not even funny."
"My dad taught me from my youngest childhood memories through these connections with Aboriginal and tribal people that you must always protect people's sacred status, regardless of the past."
"Every cent we earn from Crocodile Hunter goes straight back into conservation. Every single cent."
"Crocodiles are easy. They try to kill and eat you. People are harder. Sometimes they pretend to be your friend first."
"I don't care if it's a big crocodile or a small crocodile, I'll take them all on."
"I think that people just need to be educated about the bush and the animals in it, and once they understand it, they'll appreciate it more."
"I'm just a normal bloke who has the opportunity to do what I love best and make a difference while doing it."
"I'm not afraid to die. I'm just afraid of not being able to save the animals."
"We all have a destiny, and if it's for you to save animals, that's what you do."
"The only way we will save our planet is if we start educating ourselves, our children and the world."
"The reason I'm so passionate about crocs is that they're one of the most maligned and misunderstood creatures on the planet."
* The editor of this short biography made every effort to maintain information accuracy, including any quotes, facts, or key life events. If you're looking to expand your personal development, I recommend exploring other people's life stories and gaining inspiration from my collection of inspiring quotes. Exposing yourself to different perspectives can broaden your worldview and help you with your personal growth.
Tal Gur is an author, founder, and impact-driven entrepreneur at heart. After trading his daily grind for a life of his own daring design, he spent a decade pursuing 100 major life goals around the globe. His journey and most recent book, The Art of Fully Living, has led him to found Elevate Society.