Archives On The Air 39: "For All Of Large Animals Found In The Sea, Man Is The Easiest Prey"

Aug 9, 2018

Sketch of shot imaging of shark pulling helicopter down, undated. David Brown Papers.
Credit American Heritage Center

David Brown started producing movies in the 1950s and worked on a number of famous movies, including, Jaws, one of Steven Spielberg’s first films.

The novel and the film Jaws were meant to capitalize on fears of shark attacks, but the movie’s success contributed to a much wider-spread fear of sharks than intended.

Deep in the David Brown papers is an advertisement called Sharkfacts used to promote Jaws II.

Sharkfacts promotional material for the release of Jaws II, 1975. David Brown Papers.
Credit American Heritage Center

The 14 Sharkfacts warn about how dangerous sharks are with their serrated teeth, abrasive skin, and their attacks in knee-high water.

The release of Jaws led to an increase in shark hunting in the U.S. Now, the shark population cannot keep up with the rate of decline caused by humans.

Is the infamous piano riff to blame? Was it the giant mechanical shark?

Learn more about Jaws and other films in the David Brown papers at UW's American Heritage Center.