Luis Marden, a pioneer in underwater photography who found the remains of the HMS Bounty and went on to make 11 films for National Geographic, died in Arlington, Va., March 3, of complications from Parkinson’s disease. He was 90.
Chelsea, Mass. native was born Annibale Luigi Paragallo. He changed his name while working for a radio station as a young man. Although he did not attend college, he was fluent in five languages.
In 1957, he discovered the remains of William Bligh’s ship Bounty off Pitcairn Island in the Pacific Ocean.
During a 64-year career with the National Geographic Society, Marden traveled with Jacques Cousteau and was a pioneer in 35mm underwater color photography.
Working with his wife, Ethel, a mathematician, Marden recalculated the route Columbus sailed from Spain’s Canary Islands to the Western Hemisphere. They and National Geographic senior editor Joseph Judge concluded that Columbus landed at Samana Cay, 65 miles southwest of the long-accepted landfall on Watling Island, also known as San Salvador.
Early in his career, Marden spent much of his time in Central and South America. Later, he was a leader in National Geographic’s space reporting.
Besides his films, he also contributed 60 articles to National Geographic as writer or photographer.
He is survived by his wife.