Valerie Taylor has been diving with sharks since the 1960s, and her work as a conservationist is still inspiring others today. Scroll through the gallery for more photos of her remarkable shark encounters.
In the 1960s, Australians Valerie and Ron Taylor were competitive spear fishers. They moved into underwater photography and film making, before working to educate people about threats to the oceans and marine life.
Valerie Taylor photographing a large bull shark that has come in for bait at Shark Reef, Beqa Lagoon, Fiji.
Valerie Taylor on the anchor on the wreck of the Sirius, off Norfolk Island, Australia. The Taylors found the wreck, which was considered lost, in 1963 by swimming outside the reef.
In 1969, the Taylors formed their own company, Ron Taylor Film Productions Pty Ltd. The couple played two of the main characters in the American feature documentary "Blue Water, White Death."
Ron Taylor filming a great white shark. In the early 1970s, Ron and Valerie produced the television series "Taylor's Inner Space." This series of 13 films, featured the Taylors' encounters with the marine life of the western Pacific.
Ron Taylor filming blue sharks off the coast of Albany, Western Australia.
In 1979, Ron Taylor had a suit of mail made, which Valerie successfully tested against sharks in the wild.
Valerie Taylor with blue sharks off San Diego, California.
Valerie Taylor has been bitten twice and nipped once by sharks in 40 years of diving with them -- without permanent injury.
Tiger sharks are inclined to investigate anything on the ocean surface by biting, but are usually well behaved around divers.