'Crocodile Hunter' Steve Irwin Dies

steve irwin
Steve with wife Terri and daughter Bindi 

September 6, 2006

Steve Irwin's sudden death this week has left his fans and admirers in a state of shock. Tributes have been pouring in from around the world since the news was announced.

We feel it's fitting to say a few words about Steve on this site because his life and accomplishments were truly extraordinary, and there is much to emulate for anyone desiring a fulfilling and meaningful life.

For a start, Steve Irwin did what he truly loved. He didn't choose his career for the opportunity to make lots of cash, because 'there was a good market out there', or for any of the other reasons many marketing and success gurus talk about. He loved Nature and wildlife with a passion that came through in everything he said or did. The fact that there was a huge audience for his projects, resulting in mega-bucks and international fame, was a bonus. Steve poured most of his earnings back into his wildlife projects and used a large portion to purchase habitats for endangered animals.

Another amazing thing about Steve's life was that he didn't separate family and career. His wife Terri shared his passion for wildlife and conservation, and their children, Bindi and Bob, quickly became an integral part of their projects. Steve often spoke about how family was the most important thing in his life, and he created a situation where he shared the bulk of his time with them. That's a great accomplishment if you can pull it off.

Finally, Steve made it by being himself. He did not 'dress for success', modify his broad working-class Australian accent, or tone down his over-the-top personality. One of the reasons many Americans said they admired him was because he was so down to earth and genuine.

Australians sometimes complained that Steve Irwin projected a negative image of the country because of his lack of sophistication and unbridled enthusiasm. His use of the 1950's slang term "crikey" made us cringe. Others criticised his 'sensationalist' approach to his subject. But the response to his death has demonstrated the overwhelmingly high regard in which he was held.

Steve Irwin's legacy is the increased awareness he has promoted worldwide of the importance of protecting wildlife. He was a true conservationist, and many people have written to him over the years to let him know that they've became active conservationists themselves, or entered the field on a professional level, as a direct result of his influence.

What a wonderful legacy.

Steve, your contribution to the planet was immeasurable. Rest in peace.

12 Months On...

In the time since Steve left us, there have been numerous television and online tributes, as well as a number of books and videos made about his life. Many of the web site tributes that we linked to from this page are no longer available, so we've put together a short list of the better books and videos on Steve if you want to know more about the man and his work.

Here are the videos currently available from Amazon. You can click on each image, then click on the title to read the reviews:

Here are recent books written about Steve. Again, you can read reviews and comments by clicking on the titles that pop up:

Wildlife Warriors

If you'd like to contribute to the charitable organization Steve set up to protect wildlife, go to www.wildlifewarriors.org.au

To listen to Andrew Denton's interview with Steve Irwin (or to read the transcript), go to ABC Television - Enough Rope.

To read more about Steve's death, please visit Discovery.com