Bill Curtsinger was born January 23, 1946, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He grew up in southern New Jersey and attended Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff and Arizona State University in Tempe.
A self-taught photographer, Curtsinger was a member of the elite Navy Photo Unit, Atlantic Fleet Combat Camera Group during the Vietnam War.
Specializing in underwater and natural history subjects, he has photographed more than 30 articles (including six cover stories) for National Geographic magazine. His photo stories have also appeared in Smithsonian, Outside, Time, Newsweek, Life, Audubon, Natural History, and other publications worldwide.
Curtsinger has photographed for a number of books, including Wake of the Whale, an exhibit-format series book published by David Brower, the dean of the modern American environmental movement. Other titles include The Pine Barrens of New Jersey, Monk Seal Hideaway, Under Antarctic Ice, and a series of children's books on plankton called Sea Soup. His latest book, Extreme Nature—Images from the World’s Edge, a 400-page retrospective of his work, was published in nine languages and in 11 countries in October 2005.
His image of a sea turtle hatchling was selected to appear on the cover of the National Geographic 100 Best Pictures collector's edition, and six of his photos were featured in National Geographic 100 Best Wildlife Pictures.
Curtsinger lives in Port Townsend, Washington with his wife, Sue Ohlson.