Steve Irwin, the most famous lion tamer in the world

Steve Irwin, the most famous lion tamer in the world

Robert Irwin on how his photography book keeps late father Steve Irwin’s legacy alive.

The original Steve Irwin was the most famous lion tamer in the world.

‘I don’t think anybody knew who Steve was,’ says Irwin’s late father, Bob.

Irwin, who died in February 2019, was one of the country’s most famous and popular celebrities.

Steve Irwin was a lion tamer who had a reputation of being a bit of a chameleon, switching from comedy to drama in a heartbeat.

Irwin’s father, Bob, says Steve was known for being an egotist.

‘If you asked who he was, you’d either be told he’s famous, he’s one of the great lion tamers, or a lot of money,’ Bob tells

With Bob’s permission, we decided to put together a little documentary called In The Moment… Steve Irwin. (See related story: Steve Irwin’s father reveals his son was a lion tamer who turned to sport and then to adventure)

Irwin grew up in a small town in Victoria, Australia, where he began to have a fascination with animals.

‘I realised when I was 11 years old that I wanted to be a veterinarian when I grew up and that was really the best thing I can do for the animals I love,’ he says.

He became an outstanding student, attending the University of Victoria. But after a month of studying, ‘I knew I couldn’t do it on my own’.

He went on to study at the University of Melbourne, at a level where he could earn a degree in veterinary medicine. However, he soon found he didn’t want to be a vet.

‘As a child, I had a passion to help animals and I wanted to do something in this direction and work with them,’ he tells

After a year of training, he left for New York. When he arrived, he had never been to America before but he had been researching various types of photography and had made a name for himself.

He spent four years in New York studying photography, and found himself in Manhattan, where he met fellow students

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