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This Day in History

Australian History

Saturday, November 15, 2008. :   Today is Steve Irwin Day.

     Stephen Robert "Steve" Irwin was born on 22 February 1962 in Essendon, Melbourne, Victoria. He moved to Queensland when he was still a child, where his parents developed and ran the Queensland Reptile and Fauna Park. In 1991, Irwin took over the running of the park, which was later renamed "Australia Zoo".

As a passionate environmentalist, Irwin became known for the television program "The Crocodile Hunter", an unconventional wildlife documentary series which he hosted with his wife Terri Irwin. Irwin's outgoing personality, energetic vitality and outrageous antics in the series made him an international celebrity. He also starred in Animal Planet documentaries, including The Croc Files, The Crocodile Hunter Diaries, and New Breed Vets.

Australia lost one of its most popular icons and ambassadors in the early afternoon of 4 September 2006. Steve Irwin was filming an underwater documentary off the Great Barrier Reef, when he was fatally pierced in the heart by a stingray barb. He is survived by his wife Terri, daughter Bindi, born in 1998 and son Robert (Bob), born in 2004.

Many have sought to commemorate Steve Irwin's unique and powerful influence as an environmentalist. As of 2008, November 15 was designated Steve Irwin Day, an annual celebration of Irwin's remarkable life and personality.

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