Author William McKeever

For more information: Contact Justin Loeber

Mouth: Digital + Public Relations

212-260-7576 (ph)  212-260-7842 (f) 212-673-7298 Cell

Press Materials

Emperors of the Deep

Shark Factoids to Support the Book and Soon-to-Be-Released Documentary,  

Love Shark Tournaments?  Think Again. 

Did you know?:

  • 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

Justin Loeber, Raquel Perazzo or Miles Coleman at 212-260-7576;

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. He wasn’t scared of rough water; he jumped in and rolled with the waves. Until the summer of 1976—after he saw the movie Jaws. Looking back, McKeever reflects: “Little did I know that sharks have more to fear than humans. And unlike our fear of them, their fear is justified.”

 For much of McKeever’s adult life he was a top Wall Streeter, and appeared on TV, radio and print on behalf of UBS and PaineWeber; and quickly becoming a preeminent source throughout the ever-turbulent world of finance.  However, “no days in finance matched the horrors I saw during a shark tournament,” says McKeever. “I was so incensed by the unnecessary torture of these mystical animals that I literally shifted my focus away from Wall Street to the oceans across the Globe—in search of saving the shark.”  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) with a film releasing in 2020 under the same name, author, documentarian, conservationist, and activist, William McKeever, is devoting his life to radically shifting the popular perception of sharks. Far from cold-blooded underwater predators, sharks 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 during the same time period.” More tragic yet, these magnificent, vulnerable creatures are truly evolutionary marvels that play an integral role in maintaining the health of the world’s oceans—and, ultimately, the fate of our planet.         

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, in all of their underwater glory.” He dedicated two years to collecting evidence to make his pro-shark case—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 courageous artists around the world 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 white, mako, hammerhead, 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 an open question: What can we do to save the sharks? As McKeever makes clear, we must take action to reform the world’s fishing industries, with regulations and consequences. It all starts with changing people’s minds about sharks and why they matter.   

As a companion to the book, McKeever has produced and appears in a documentary, which supports his heartfelt claim that sharks aren’t human predators.  You’ll see him dive without a shark cage—and swim with his subjects—as nature takes center stage and squelches any stereotype.  The film is scheduled to release in 2020. 

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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

Publicity:        National and local media in New York, Mass, Connecticut, New Jersey Shore, Philadelphia, Rehoboth, Washington DC, Chicago, Kansas City, St. Louis, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Toronto, Charlotte, Raleigh, Wilmington, Atlanta, Florida (cities subject to change).

Events Sheet for Emperors of the Deep

Private Screenings and Book Signing Tour**

Tuesday, July 2nd

Plainville, MA 02762

Wednesday, July 3rd

Vineyard Haven, Mass

Friday, July 5th

Chatham, Mass

Sunday, July 7th

Nantucket, Mass

Saturday, July 13th

Madison, CT

Monday, July 15th

Manasquan, New Jersey

Wednesday, July 17th

Rehoboth, Delaware

Friday, July 19th

Washington, DC

Tuesday July 23rd  


**Check with us at Mouth : Digital + Public Relations, 212-260-7576 or for private screenings, fundraisers and book signings in your area—all of which are subject to change without notice.

Suggested Interview Questions for


Author of Emperors of the Deep

(Contact Raquel Perazzo and Miles Coleman at 212-260-7576 or

  1. As a former Wall Streeter turned ocean conservationist, what propelled you to write the book Emperors of the Deep (HarperOne, July 2019) and the companion documentary?
  • More than 40 years have passed since the publication of Peter Benchley’s book and Steven Spielberg’s blockbuster movie. How do you explain the enduring power of Jaws on the public’s perception and fear of sharks?
  • Last year, humans killed 100 million sharks while human fatalities from sharks were only 4 WORLDWIDE.  Why are we all clamoring to kill them and what is their value? 
  • In Emperors of the Deep, you share insights from the emerging science of sharks. What’s new and exciting about this research specialty?
  • Why are sharks truly marvelous creatures from an evolutionary perspective?
  • How, exactly, do sharks play a crucial part in maintaining the health of the world’s oceans?
  • How do sharks communicate with one another? Does their intelligence rival that of dolphins?
  • Why do you describe sharks as social animals?
  • Would you give us a peek inside the secret sex lives of sharks?
  1. In your book you feature the first female captains of Greenpeace’s Rainbow Warrior.  How did you align yourself in Greenpeace?  Why did you decide to donate a portion of your royalties from the book to the organization?
  1. 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?
  1. What did you take away from the day you spent with the self-proclaimed “last great shark hunter”?
  1. Why do recreational fishermen continue to hunt shark for sport? How can conservationists take a stand against trophy tournaments glorifying the murder of sharks?
  1. 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?
  1. What’s extraordinary about the work of Greenpeace Rainbow Warrior activists?
  1. What specific policy changes or regulations do you support for the protection of sharks?
  1.  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?
  1. Where can people buy your book or see your film? 

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