Author William McKeever

Press Materials

Emperors of the Deep– The Shark

Shark Materials to Support the Book,  

  • William McKeever, author of EMPERORS OF THE DEEP: Sharks—The Ocean’s Most Mysterious, Most Misunderstood, and Most Important Guardians (HarperOne; July 2019; ISBN: 9780062880321; $25.99; Hardcover);dispels the myth that sharks as man-eaters.  
  • Humans killed 100 million sharks last year while human fatalities from sharks were only 4 WORLDWIDE.
  • Sharks are in trouble.  An estimated 32 percent of open ocean sharks—including the scalloped hammerhead and whale shark—are currently threatened with extinction.
  • Sharks are 450 million years old and have survived five extinction level events, including the one that killed off the dinosaurs.
  • Shark fins sell for as much as $300 per pound to make soup.  Around the world, consumers are eating more shark meat and using the sharks to make cosmetics.
  • Shark tourism is a growing business. A single shark generates an estimated $100,000-$250,000 per year in revenues.
  • Scientists have made exciting new discoveries about the over 500 species of sharks.  For example, the Thresher shark kills with its tail, not its jaws.  The Epaulette shark “walks” on top of coral reefs in search of prey during low tide.
  • Sharks can dive 4,000 feet below the surface where water temperatures are barely above freezing, and the water pressure crushes most animals.
  • Sharks have developed a sixth sense to detect electrical fields that they use to navigate thousands of miles or to bite prey with intricate precision.
  • As apex predators, sharks are crucial to the ocean’s health by maintaining reef and seagrass ecosystems.
  • Emperors of the Deep  features the first female captains of Greenpeace’s Rainbow Warrior, the South African trackers of great whites, and the self-professed “last great shark hunter.”
  • The book includes interviews with world-renowned shark scientists who have examined the Mako, Tiger, Hammerhead, and Great White sharks.
  • Starting in July, McKeever will be embarking on a grass roots media tour to more than eighteen cities across the country.
  • Emperors of the Deep movie is being shown as an exclusive private screening and will be released to the general public in 2020.  

To book an interview or receive a reviewer copy, please call or email

Harper Collins Contact:

Courtney Nobile (212) 207-7127

Emperors of the Deep is a must-read for anyone in love with our oceans and concerned with averting the looming ecological destruction of our planet. McKeever brings to light the importance of sharks and their role as ancient guardians of the seas.”—John Hocevar, Oceans Campaign Director, Greenpeace USA

A Myth-Busting Exploration of the Secret Lives of Sharks—and an Urgent Call to Protect These Marvelous Creatures for the Survival of Our Oceans and Very Planet…


By William McKeever

A portion of McKeever’s royalties will go to Greenpeace

Author embarks on more than 18 cities around the country to save sharks from extinction

Growing up in Pittsburgh and spending summers in Cape Cod—fishing with his father in Nantucket Sound, William McKeever developed an appreciation of the ocean and its unseen inhabitants. In the summer of 1975, he saw the movie Jaws. Looking back, McKeever reflects: “That movie incorrectly installed a fear of shark that is not justified.”

In EMPERORS OF THE DEEP: Sharks—The Ocean’s Most Mysterious, Most Misunderstood, and Most Important Guardians (HarperOne; July 2019; ISBN: 9780062880321; $25.99;  Hardcover) author, conservationist, and activist, William McKeever, is devoting his life to undoing the myths about sharks. They are far from cold-blooded underwater predators. In reality, it is the sharks that are falling prey to humans in staggering numbers. McKeever states a hard fact: “While sharks kill an average of four humans a year, humans kill 100 million sharks  a year.” More tragic yet, these magnificent, vulnerable creatures are truly evolutionary marvels that play an key role in maintaining the health of the world’s oceans.         

So, how do you overcome the ferocious image instilled by Jaws and Shark Week? As McKeever realized: “The only way to change the way we think about sharks is to cast the species in an entirely new light and reveal how extraordinary they are.” He spent two years visiting the today’s top oceanographic research institutions and interviewing leading scientists from the Florida Keys to Australia’s Shark Bay. He joined forces with Greenpeace Rainbow Warrior activists in Buson, South Korea. He met with shark conservationists working to change the public’s view of sharks through creative marketing campaigns and daring exhibitions. And he swam with the sharks, becoming immersed in their environment.   

In EMPERORS OF THE DEEP, McKeever shares insights from his investigations and revelations from his adventures, including:

  • Sharks are survivors. 50-million years older than trees, sharks have survived five extinction level events, including the one that killed off the dinosaurs.
  • Sharks are diverse. Beyond the Big Four—great whitemakohammerhead, and tiger—the ocean is home to approximately 500 species of sharks, from the epaulette, which crawls across the surface of reefs, to the 34-ton whale shark, the ocean’s gentle giant.  
  • Sharks are social animals. Sharks not only work together to achieve their goals (#1: food); sharks play and chill together. As researchers have observed, sharks spend most of their time with sharks in their own social networks and establish long-term relationships.
  • Sharks are smart. Forget dolphins. The intelligence of sharks is underrated. Sharks have superb navigation skills and electroreception: a sixth sense that lets them pick up on electric fields generated by living things.
  • Sharks are prized catches. Chinese covet their fins for soup. Sharks are also killed for their squalene, a key moisturizing agent in products like lipstick. Squalene fisheries operate primarily in the southeastern Atlantic and western Pacific oceans, where regulations are lax.

Sharks aren’t the only victims of the international fishing traffic industry, as McKeever reveals through his interviews with six former slaves-at-sea in Cambodia. The author also tries to make sense of why people continue to kill sharks for sport, with a stop at the “Super Bowl” of shark contests, a mako-only shark tournament in Montauk, Long Island, and a day in the life of the self-professed “last great shark hunter.”

EMPERORS OF THE DEEP ends with a discussion on what we can do to save the sharks. As McKeever makes clear, we must take action to reform the world’s fishing industries with new regulations before it is too late. It all starts with changing people’s minds about sharks and why they matter.   

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About the Author

WILLIAM MCKEEVER is the founder of Safeguard of the Seas, an NGO dedicated to ocean conservation and devoted to protecting sharks and the oceans threatened by humans. Through activism, advocacy, and education, the mission is to save sharks and the ocean. He is a former Institutional Investor magazine All-American analyst, appearing on NBC, CNBC, Bloomberg, Wall Street Journal, and more. In 2017, McKeever produced and directed the feature-length documentary as companion to his book, Emperors of the Deep, which is slated for release in 2020. McKeever was born in Pittsburgh PA; and for decades resides in New York City.  

Emperors of the Deep: 

Sharks—The Ocean’s Most Mysterious, Most Misunderstood, and Most Important Guardians

Published by: HarperOne, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers

On-sale date: June 25, 2019

Pub Date         July 3, 2019

ISBN:               9780062880321

Price:              $25.99

Format:           Hardcover

Pages:            320

Suggested Interview Questions


Author of Emperors of the Deep

  1. More than 40 years have passed since the publication of Peter Benchley’s book, JAWS. Benchley realized that he had made a great mistake and sought to protect sharks until the end of his life. What made him change his mind?
  2. Last year, humans killed 100 million sharks while human fatalities from sharks were only 4 WORLDWIDE.   How did that happen?
  3. In Emperors of the Deep, you share insights from the emerging science of sharks. What’s new and exciting about this research specialty?
  4. Why are sharks truly marvelous creatures from an evolutionary perspective?
  5. How do sharks play a role in maintaining the health of the world’s oceans?
  6. Are sharks social animals?
  7. Can you discuss the sex lives of sharks?
  8. In Emperors of the Deep, you reveal the dark side of the international fishing traffic industry. What was most startling and disturbing about your interviews in Cambodia?
  9. What did you take away from the day you spent with the self-proclaimed “last great shark hunter”?
  10. Why do recreational fishermen continue to hunt shark for sport? How can conservationists take a stand against trophy tournaments glorifying the murder of sharks?
  11. Tell us about what is was like to see sharks up close and personal in their natural habitat. Weren’t you just a tiny bit scared?
  12. What’s extraordinary about the work of Greenpeace Rainbow Warrior activists?
  13. What specific policy changes or regulations do you support for the protection of sharks?
  14.  What is your ultimate goal for Emperors of the Deep? What can anyone who cares about the future of our planet do to help save the sharks?
  15. Where can people buy your book? 

Exciting Video Clips of Sharks. Click on link

Bull Shark ClipDownload Bull shark cruising along the beach

Tiger Shark ClipDownload Tiger shark on patrol

Pacific Ocean ClipDownload Gorgeous video of sharks in Pacific

Pictures Available for Use:

South Africa
  • Mako Shark- Fastest shark in the ocean
  • Mako- killed for fun in a shark tournament in Montauk. Carcass was sent to landfill in Long Island.
  • Magnificent Hammerhead shark. 20 million years of evolution.
  • Hammerhead- killed for fins. This shark suffocated to death and the carcass was eaten by crabs.
  • Author swimming without a cage.
The Northern Rocks, Darwin and Wolf, are considered the best of diving. They can only be reached by an overnight liveaboard from Galapagos main islands. Darwin and Wolf are particularly famous of huge schools of Scalloped Hammerhead Sharks, as well as frequent encounters with the biggest fish, Whale Shark.
  • Scalloped hammerheads school, the only shark species that does this.
  • Lemon shark on patron in mangroves.
  • Great White Shark. How many are left in the world? Answer: unknown.

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