National Geographic 125 Years: Legendary Photographs, Adventures, and Discoveries That Changed the World

Book Traces History and Highlights of Renowned Scientific and Educational Organization

WASHINGTON (Sept. 25, 2012)—On Jan. 13, 1888, a group of 33 men met at the Cosmos Club in Washington, D.C., to discuss a way to increase and diffuse geographic knowledge across the world. A century and a quarter later, after landmark shipwreck discoveries, stunning images from countless cultures and expeditions from the top of Mount Everest to the bottom of the Mariana Trench, the National Geographic Society has expanded beyond those original founding members, but the organization’s goal of spreading geographic knowledge around the globe has remained the same.

This fall, readers can join the National Geographic Society in celebrating its past and future with a new book National Geographic 125 Years: Legendary Photographs, Adventures, and Discoveries That Changed the World (National Geographic Books; ISBN 978-1-4262-0957-4; on sale Nov. 6, 2012; $50 hardcover), by author and historian Mark Collins Jenkins, a former National Geographic Society archivist. The foreword is by Gilbert M. Grosvenor, the Society’s former chairman, president and National Geographic magazine editor, who is a fifth-generation member of the Society’s founding family.

Filled with exhilarating tales and astonishing photography, National Geographic 125 Years is an engrossing visual chronicle of the last 12-and-a-half decades through the eyes of the explorers, writers and photographers who captured it all. Readers will be able to dive deeper into the iconic yellow border and get a behind-the-scenes look into the stories that have shaped the world, including Hiram Bingham’s discovery of the lost city of Machu Picchu, the arctic explorations of Richard Byrd, Jane Goodall’s legendary chimpanzee research and the epic dives of Jacques Cousteau and James Cameron.

Laid out chronologically, National Geographic 125 Years explores the history of the Society from a small group dedicated to spreading geographic knowledge of the world and all that’s in it to the international nonprofit and media company it is today. Each era of the Society’s history is highlighted, featuring the most significant expeditions, field research and photography. Personal stories from legendary explorers such as Luis Marden, who discovered the remains of the H.M.V.S. Bounty, and marine biologist Sylvia Earle, as well as writers and photographers in the field fill each chapter, along with quotes from important figures associated with the Society, including paleontologist Louis Leakey, underwater explorer Robert Ballard, geneticist Spencer Wells and many more.

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  • Werner Rebsamen

    As a RIT professor for Print Media, I had the pleasure visiting National Geographic’s headquarter. There was a fellow sorting out slides for an upcoming story. They only needed 6 to 8 for a particular article. I did ask the fellow how many photos a National Geographic photographer is taking for a particular article.
    His answer was, an average of 35.000!
    That was when they still used film. No wonder those photographs are always exceptional.