Dr. Eugenie Clark—the pioneering shark scientist known as "The Shark Lady"—would have turned 100 today, May 4. And for her birthday, she'll be honored in a momentous way: with her very own stamp from the USPS.
Born and raised in New York to a Japanese mother and American father, Clark’s love for the sea and its creatures blossomed at a young age. At just nine years old, she visited the New York Aquarium for the first time. That's where her lifelong love affair with sea life began.
“In the back of the aquarium, there was a big tank with some sharks inside. I used to put my face up against the glass and imagine that I was underwater and swimming with them," Clark told Florida Trend in 2011.
Her love of marine life led Clark to earn a bachelor of arts degree in zoology from Hunter College in 1942 and master's degree and Ph.D. in zoology from New York University. In 1955, she opened Cape Haze Marine Laboratory in Placida, which later became Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium. Throughout her career, which spanned almost 75 years, she conducted 72 deep-sea research dives and more than 200 research expeditions to study the behaviors of marine life, making major discoveries along the way. She died in 2015 in Sarasota at age 92.
USPS's Shark Lady stamp features a digital collage of a photo of Clark and a lemon shark by artist Amanda Phingbodhipakkiya and is being issued as a Forever Stamp, which means it will always be equal in value to the current price of a first-class, one-ounce stamp. You can purchase it here.