Historical Events  Science
Great White Shark

How many humans had been killed by a Great White Shark prior to JAWS in 1975?

MMDE: thousands

Current: 11

They've been around for 400 millions years, and evolved into the perfect killing machine so long ago they haven't changed since - but it was only in 1975 that the world came to really fear the great white shark when the movie JAWS came out. 

The popular idea at the time was that, over human history, thousands of even tens of thousands of humans had been killed by them. Many are surprised to find that the figure, for documented deaths of humans due to the great white shark up to then, was only 11.

Stories of sailors being attacked by sharks in wartime torpedoed battleships are plenty, but these don't involve the great white shark.

Wikipedia has the details

The deaths are listed on Wikipedia.

This report shows the deaths by all sharks, and here we're only looking at the Great White, as seen in JAWS. The figure is probably only 10, because one of them, Michelle von Emster, might have actually been murdered and things set up to make it appear the shark was the culprit.