Author and conservationist Peter Benchly is dead at age 65. He died Saturday night at his house in Princeton, NJ, from a condition that causes scarring of the lungs.
Benchley, of course, is well-known to horror fans and every kid in the last 30 years who was every afraid of what was below them while they swam in the ocean as the author of Jaws. I haven’t read the book, but the first film is terrific and certainly made me pretty nervous whenever something would brush my foot or leg in the ocean (even in lakes sometimes).
There’s something about the visceral, irrational fear of the yawning depths below you in the ocean and the mysteries and terrors that might be contained there that makes the fear captured in Jaws really effective.
CNN.com has a longer story on Benchley, his work, his life, and his death.