Peter Willcox

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Peter Henry Willcox
Born March 6, 1953 (1953-03-06) (age 61)
Nationality American
Occupation Activist

Peter Henry Willcox (born March 6, 1953) is an American Greenpeace activist best known for being captain of the ship the Rainbow Warrior when it was bombed and sunk by French agents in 1985.

Early years[edit]

Willcox was born to Eleanor Sharpe. He was soon after adopted by Elsie and Roger Willcox, and was raised in Norwalk, Connecticut. His adoptive mother died in 1974, leaving him, his brother, and his sister to be raised by their adoptive father. Roger Willcox was the harbormaster of Village Creek harbor in Norwalk, and he instilled a great love of sailing in Peter from an early age.[1]

Willcox began his journey of activism over 40 years ago under the assumption that in five to ten years laws would be passed. However this was not the case thus Willcox joined Greenpeace.[2]


Following his time on the Clearwater, Willcox pursued a career with Greenpeace. Quickly rising through the ranks, he became captain of the Rainbow Warrior. He has participated in decades of activism, including his campaigns against Soviet mechanized whaling and the nuclear testing in the Marshall Islands. Other major actions of his have been directed towards preservation of ancient rainforests, and protests of deep-sea trawl fishing.

On July 10, 1985, Willcox's ship, Rainbow Warrior, was bombed by French agents. The event, which cost one of those on board his life, caused an international scandal. A dramatic retelling of the story is available in the form of a film, entitled The Rainbow Warrior.[3]

During his time with Greenpeace he has been arrested numerous times, including arrests in Turkey, the Philippines, Denmark and Peru. As of November 24 2013 he has been with Greenpeace for 32 years. In February 2014 Willcox plans to captain the new Rainbow Warrior.[2]

In September 2013 Willcox was arrested for allegedly trying to seize a Russian oil platform with Greenpeace.


  1. ^ "Greenpeace Captain, Peter Willcox '72, to Speak at Graduation". Retrieved 7 April 2014. 
  2. ^ a b Walker, Shaun (24 November 2013). "Arctic 30 captain re-evaluates protest methods after Russian jails". Retrieved 7 April 2014. 
  3. ^ "The Rainbow Warrior (1993)". Retrieved 7 April 2014. 

External links[edit]

Meet Captain Peter Willcox