E. Lee Spence

Historian, Academic

1947 –

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Who is E. Lee Spence?

Edward Lee Spence is a pioneer in underwater archaeology who studies shipwrecks and sunken treasure. He is also a published editor and author of non-fiction reference books; a magazine editor, and magazine publisher; and a published photographer. Spence was twelve years old when he found his first five shipwrecks.

Dr. Spence's past work has been funded by such institutions as the Savannah Ships of the Sea Museum, the College of Charleston, the South Carolina Committee for the Humanities and the National Endowment for the Humanities. In 1991 and 1992, Spence served as Chief of Underwater Archeology for San Andres y Providencia, a 40,000 square-mile Colombian owned archipelago in the western Caribbean. He has worked on the wrecks of Spanish galleons, pirate ships, Great Lakes freighters, modern luxury liners, Civil War blockade runners and submarines.

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Nov 6, 1947
  • United States of America
  • University of South Carolina
  • College of Marine Arts
Lived in
  • Summerville

on July 23, 2013


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