Mountaineer and filmmaker David Breashears dead at 68

Mountaineer, filmmaker and author David Breashears, 68, died on March 14 at his home in Marblehead. Photo by AP Photo | Arcturus Motion Pictures

David Breashears, a renowned mountaineer, filmmaker, and author, who climbed Mount Everest five times, has died at the age of 68. According to an article from the Associated Press, his business manager Ellen Golbranson said that Breashears was found unresponsive in his Marblehead home on Thursday.

Golbranson shared a statement from his family.

“It is with tremendous sadness that we share the news of David Breashears’ untimely passing,’ the statement read. “David was a beloved brother, uncle, father, friend, and colleague and a caring, impassioned advocate of adventure, exploration, and the health of our planet.”

One of Breashears ascents to Everest was shot with the IMAX camera in 1996, which was made into the IMAX documentary “Everest”, premiering in 1998.  Among the venues where it was shown was the Museum of Science in Boston.

Breashears made history in 1985 as the first U.S citizen to summit Everest twice, and two years prior, he transmitted the first ever live television pictures from its summit, his website says. 

“He combined his passion for climbing and photography to become one of the world’s most admired adventure filmmakers,” the statement continued.

His family also said that the thing that “fulfilled him the most,” was his nonprofit organization, Glacier Works, founded in 2007 to shine a spotlight on the Himalayan Glaciers by using art, science, and adventure.

The nonprofit is “where he’d want his legacy to lie,” according to the family’s statement. 

“With GlacierWorks, he used his climbing and photography experience to create unique records revealing the dramatic effects of climate change on the historic mountain range.”

According to his website, Breashears completed more than 40 films since 1978 and has won four Emmys for filmmaking.

  • Ryan Vermette is the Item's Marblehead reporter. He graduated from Springfield College in 2021 with a Bachelor's degree in Communications/Sports Journalism. While in school, he wrote multiple sports articles for the school newspaper, the Springfield Student, and joined Essex Media Group in August, 2022. Ryan is a college basketball fanatic and an avid Boston sports fan and in his free time, enjoys video games and Marvel movies.